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Q&A: OAUG's Mark Clark Discusses Surprising Cloud Adoption Findings

A new report from the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) reveals key trends—including some surprising new findings—about the way OAUG members are adopting cloud and cloud services.

Conducted by the independent market research group Unisphere, OAUG ResearchLine reports help OAUG members understand key industry trends and benchmark their systems and performance against that of their peers.

We asked OAUG President Mark Clark to expand on the latest report, Cloud at the Crossroads: 2012 OAUG Survey on Application Delivery Strategies. In addition to his work for the OAUG, Clark is a founder and senior partner at 02Works, which for more than a decade has focused exclusively on putting Oracle E-Business Suite to work on time and on budget.

Q. What inspired the latest OAUG ResearchLine report?
A. We wanted to find out where members were in terms of adopting cloud services, the kinds of experiences they have had, and the questions and concerns that drive decision-making. More than 360 OAUG members responded, from small startups to Fortune 500 firms representing a broad set of industries.

Q. Which findings were the most surprising?
A. First, I was surprised to find out how quickly cloud adoption has accelerated. While only 10 percent of respondents had adopted the cloud five years ago, now the total number is 55 percent. The other surprise was that upgrades and new implementations (48 percent) outranked cost savings (45 percent) as the top triggers for moving to cloud-based environments.

Q. According to the report, who is driving the decision to adopt cloud solutions?
A. It has generally been assumed that businesses turn to cloud as an alternative to their own IT departments. But this report shows that IT executives are major players as well. In fact, the earliest types of applications adopted in cloud deployments tend to serve IT functions.

Q. What are the top benefits respondents have enjoyed as a result of cloud adoption?
A. The overall lower cost of ownership is a key benefit, according to respondents. But increased business flexibility and scalability ranked equally high on the list of benefits.

Q. Are organizations becoming more confident in general about cloud security?
A. Security is a concern, but organizations are realizing that trusted cloud providers can actually advance their security posture, since they can afford professionals to stay on top of evolving security threats. This is especially true for small to midsize organizations.

Watch a Webcast featuring findings of the report, or access the report directly.
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