APAC firms still find cloud 'not relevant'

Cloud computing may be the flavor of the month, but a new study shows the majority of enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region find the platform irrelevant and have yet to adopt cloud-based applications.
A new report released Thursday by Springboard Research, determined that only 46 percent of IT professionals in the region, excluding Japan, were familiar with the cloud concept. Two-thirds of respondents found cloud computing "not relevant" for their business and 78 percent have not implemented any cloud-based applications.
The study polled 530 CIOs, IT managers and line business managers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The findings come amid various reports touting the benefits of cloud computing and its significance to the enterprise community.
But while awareness of cloud computing remains low, 95 percent of respondents were already familiar with software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Applications such as hosted CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning), as well as Web conferencing and Web-based e-mail, were among the most popular SaaS offerings among Asia-Pacific companies and constituted the bulk of cloud-related spending.
According to Springboard, cloud computing will continue to push demand for SaaS and drive the number of new services delivered via the on-demand model.
Michael Barnes, the research firm's vice president of software research, said in the report: "Cloud computing is the next phase in the delivery and consumption of IT-enabled services and a major evolutionary step in the maturing of the IT industry. It provides an opportunity for organizations in Asia-Pacific to leapfrog competitors in other regions."
He added that enterprises in the region will adopt cloud computing as a means of driving greater standardization across their IT infrastructure and reducing the resources needed to tap technology for business gains.
Barnes noted that cloud vendors must establish and maintain trusted relationships to ensure market growth.
"In fact, delivering strong support is even more important in the still nascent cloud computing market as it is needed to overcome the early skepticism, uncertainty and doubts that characterize this market," he said.