Businesses of all sizes are adopting cloud based applications for several reasons, but there's no one thing that is pushing them to do so, a report by Host Analytics found recently.

Host Analytics hired Dimensional Research to survey 327 CIOs, IT professionals and business executives. The biggest driver of cloud adoption was found to be compliance. A close second was simply labeled as better value, followed by competitive advantage and then "as part of a cloud strategy."

Why Compliance is Driving Cloud Adoption

Sixty one percent of respondents acknowledged they had business-critical software that had not been updated recently. Of them, 54% said that software had not been updated in the last two years, 32% said it had been three years, and 16% said it had been at least four years.

That means those companies are relying on systems that need to be upgraded, something cloud applications do much better than on-premises apps. Furthermore, 28% of CIOs who have requirements for that business-critical software said they lacked confidence in their compliance. 

Workers Don't Mind the Cloud Shift

Besides compliance and value, executives pointed to their workers' overwhelming desire to build their own expertise using cloud apps as well. Seventy nine percent of those surveyed said their staff found experience with cloud applications to be beneficial. Additionally, 95% of CIOs said that IT employees want to gain expertise with cloud applications.

Learning Opportunities


Better value was named as one of the top reasons for the cloud shift, especially by business executives.

Workers and executives appear to be in agreement about moving to the cloud. So what's stopping them from actually doing it? One reason we have heard is there is some concern about being able to find experts who can customize or manage Saas applications. The survey asked CIOs about this very problem, and 83% said they easily found the experts they needed. 

Dimensional Research used a Web survey to find these results, and most of the companies were in North America with 7% in Europe and 9% in Asia. Different sized companies were included as well, with a fairly even breakdown between companies in the less than 100 employee range up to the more than 10,000 employee range.