A survey commissioned by managed data service provider, Six Degrees Group, has found that there is a growing sense of discontent amongst both IT and business decision makers in relation to how technology service companies are promoting and selling cloud services.
Findings amongst IT decision makers
· Almost half (45%) feel that ‘cloud-washing’ by marketing departments at technology brands is an increasing problem
· 83% feel that cloud service providers could do more to demystify the cloud
· 82% of IT decision makers say that their cloud-computing provider is not listening to them
· One in five (22%) believe that cloud services are too rigid and inflexible
· Only 6% agree that cloud service providers understood their needs well
· Less than one in five (17%) feel that cloud service providers help them understand the benefits the cloud can deliver through marketing
· 60% feel that there is room for improvement
The survey also highlighted that senior management and board level executives feel baffled by the amount of new phrases and jargon that they are expected to keep up with. Over half of respondents (51%) cite that the technology sector uses more waffle and confusing acronyms than politicians, bankers and law firms combined.
Findings amongst business decision makers
· Over half (51%) believe that technology companies are guilty of using too much jargon, compared to 24% for Government, 16% for bankers and only 9% for lawyers
· 16% think that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was a new road project
· 22% think that Platform as a Service (PaaS) was a new philosophy in railway management
· 15% think that cloud computing is a free WiFi service for Internet access in public places
Six Degrees Group conducted the research to try and benchmark where key business stakeholders are in terms of understanding cloud computing. Whilst the majority of IT decision makers (83%) have a broad understanding of the concept of cloud computing, they are still struggling to cut through the marketing hype around the application of the technology, the real benefits and threats to their business. Cloud service providers appear to be offering what they think customers need, not what they actually want.
Aiming to bring some clarity to the market, Six Degrees Group has created a dedicated website, ‘Up to the Cloud’ which features a unique ‘decision tree’ that will help businesses to understand the ideal hosting solution for their needs, instead of forcing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach on them to help educate businesses on what the cloud really is and what it has to offer.
Campbell Williams, group strategy and director at Six Degrees Group, comments, “The lack of service flexibility and confusing jargon is clearly having an impact on the reputation of the technology industry. Businesses are being told that everything is fine and promises are being made that issues can be solved. However, the problem now is that businesses no longer believe what they are hearing and the industry is losing credibility.”
He continued, “Cloud computing has the potential to be one of biggest technology revolutions in the business world since the Internet. Everyone’s talking about it and it is such a shame that businesses have to work so hard to figure it out. To some extent, every single business surveyed believed that they were a victim of cloud-washing. It is a big issue and needs to be tackled.”
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* The survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Six Degrees Group. It comprised 100 respondents made up of a 50/50 split between IT decision makers and business decision makers, and all from commercial organisations with 1000 plus employees in the UK.
About Six Degrees Group
Six Degrees Group is a privately owned managed data services provider serving UK mid-market customers. The Group has converged services portfolio – including data centre, connectivity, voice and cloud offerings – designed to help companies meet the challenges of a connected, always-on world.
Emily Gallagher/Kate Langley