European businesses embrace virtualization and the cloud

European enterprises are embracing the business opportunities offered by virtualizing assets and accessing applications through the cloud, according to new research by Brocade.

The research shows that 60 percent of enterprises expect to have started the planning and migration to a distributed – or cloud – computing model within the next two years. Key business drivers for doing so are to reduce cost (30 percent), improve business efficiency (21 percent) and enhance business agility (16 percent).

The findings appear to confirm recent research by analyst firm IDC, which identified that cloud IT services are currently worth £10.7bn globally, a figure that is estimated to grow to around £27bn by 2013.

For enterprise organizations, investment in the majority of cases is in the development of a private cloud infrastructure due, in part, to concerns over security. Over a third of respondents cited security as the most significant barrier to cloud adoption, closely followed by the complexities of virtualizing data centers, network infrastructure and bandwidth.

The research also analyzed the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) space, and while enterprises are embracing the cloud and the business advantages it brings, SMEs appear to be slightly slower to adopt with only 42 percent predicting a move to the cloud within the next two years; unsurprisingly, 63 percent of these plan to opt for a hosted solution.

Other key research findings include:

  • More than a quarter of large organizations are planning to migrate a cloud model within the next two years; 11 percent within one year
  • A quarter of organizations stated that the ability to consolidate the number of data centers was also a critical driver
  • The availability of bandwidth was also a deciding factor amongst 14 percent of respondents.

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