Enterprise cloud adoption continues to be viewed by some organizations as an imperfect science. Companies must be adequately prepared for cloud integration, and it's interesting to observe which departments are leading the charge. Much has been made of the fact that adoption is as much about cloud convincing as it is about cloud computing, with leaders in more reticent organizations clinging to traditional ways of doing business. Some have viewed IT departments as hesitant to adoption because they fear the ramifications of outsourcing technology management to a cloud service provider. However, a new report from IDG demonstrated that in many cases, IT professionals are the most vocal about the benefits of IaaS clouds.

The survey, which gathered data from over 1,300 respondents who use the internet's largest tech media forums, found that IT leaders and security executives were the most likely to anticipate pervasive cloud adoption in the future. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said that majority of their company's IT operations will migrate to the cloud over the next five years, an increase from the 27 percent who responded similarly in 2012.

Private clouds continue to be the most sought-after cloud solution, with 69 percent of the survey's respondents stating that their firms had infrastructure, data or applications in the cloud. Private cloud users were more likely to deploy more of their IT infrastructure in the cloud than public cloud adopters, with 28 percent of private cloud users' operations in the cloud to 14 percent for public cloud consumers.

IaaS cloud adoption increases
Companies are also more likely to entrust private cloud service providers with applications pertaining to data storage, data management, compliance and critical security operations, the report found. Information governance remains an area in need of policy clarity and operations innovation, particularly at small and medium-sized enterprises. Sixty-three percent of SMEs lack a data management policy, which can make cloud adoption, especially in the big data-driven era, more difficult. However, 70 percent of respondents at companies without data policies in place reported that they had plans to establish them. This overwhelming majority makes it clear to organizations that the cloud offers maximum security for those who arrive at adoption prepared.

Organizations will continue to utilize the comprehensive services that enterprise IaaS clouds provide, the survey stated. Fifty-one percent of businesses with cloud strategies stated that they are confident that some of their IT operations would be shifted to IaaS to free up resources and consolidate productivity functions. Collaboration and conferencing, email and HR technologies were the applications most likely to be merged onto the cloud.

CFOs and IT departments must collaborate for effective adoption
The survey found that CFOs concerned about ROI often slow the process of cloud adoption. ITProPortal recently wrote about the CFO balancing act of proving maximum value with minimum actual integration. With the cloud, businesses can become more agile and operate with less tangible equipment and structure, a fact which may understandably cause anxiety in financial management leaders but in reality will provide a virtual pool of operations that functions better than traditional physical models.