Sungard AS interviewed 400 IT decision makers within the UK, France, Sweden and Ireland, to explore whether their cloud investments had lived up to the initial hype around this technology. As this research paper shows, the results are far from rosy, with many organisations now finding themselves with a "Cloud Hangover" after having joined the initial cloud party.

The report concludes with Five Steps to Cloud Success.

Executive Summary

Over the last few years, the hype and excitement surrounding cloud computing has reached fever pitch with more and more organisations adopting the cloud as a key part of their IT strategy. Indeed, this hype is well-founded; nothing has had quite the same impact on the market.

Expected Return on Investment from Cloud ComputingThe benefits of cloud computing span all facets of an organisation, enabling a shift from capital intensive to operational cost models, greater efficiency and agility, and the potential for reduced complexity. And as adoption matures, it's being used to direct the focus of IT resources onto higher-value activities for the business, and to support innovation at lower risk.

However, look more closely, and it becomes clear that the journey to the cloud is not always a simple one. As deployment has become more widespread across different areas of the business, from its more traditional role of supporting key IT functions, through to a much wider business use including marketing, finance and HR – and now even Shadow IT – IT leaders face a new set of challenges including interoperability, availability and cloud-related operational expenditure.

Organisations need to recognise cloud computing not as a technical achievement, but a tool to deliver a specific, individual business outcome.