Survey: CIOs Bullish on Cloud Benefits, But Worry About SaaS Data Silos

CIOs continue to grow more and more bullish about cloud solutions, with a whopping 92% saying that cloud provides business benefits, according to a recent survey. Nonetheless, IT execs remain concerned over how to avoid SaaS-based data silos. The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by Host Analytics.

Tags: analytics, BI, cloud, data, Host Analytics, integration, SaaS, survey,

host_chart1CIOs continue to grow more and more bullish about cloud solutions, with a whopping 92% saying that cloud provides business benefits, according to a recent survey. Nonetheless, IT execs remain concerned over how to avoid SaaS-based data silos. The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by Host Analytics.

The Host Analytics/Dimensional survey queried some 350 CIOs and IT executives on attitudes, trends and challenges pertaining to cloud adoption.

Among the sunnier findings for cloud advocates are these results from CIOs and IT executives:

  • 92% said the adoption of cloud technologies is good for business
  • 67% said cloud technologies help IT deliver better systems for less money
  • 62% said SaaS applications give business stakeholders more ownership of key applications
  • Cloud is gaining a foothold across many corporate departments, including IT (67%), sales (36%), and customer support (35%)


The study also looked at which groups within a company are most benefiting from cloud and/or SaaS adoption. IT professionals are the top beneficiaries, as more than two-thirds of them (67%) said cloud technologies are providing them financial benefits. 

Despite the rosy picture, IT respondents also reported they also have some SaaS-related pains, according to the survey.  Most surround the concern that SaaS data will be trapped in silos, lack integration and not be able to provide business users with big picture or detailed analytics.

“Attitudes about using the cloud for business benefits are largely positive. Their biggest worry is the need to integrate their data between their different apps. SaaS solutions are just so easy to bring in, companies worry they might be creating silos of data,” Host Analytics’ CIO, Richard Broome, told IDN.

The survey quantifies these concerns by noting areas where respondents said SaaS and other cloud solutions can be improved, according to Dimensional's senior research analyst and study author Diane Hagglund. To Hagglund two stats in particular stand out:

  • A huge majority (88%) reported challenges with SaaS business applications
  • 67% report issues integrating data between applications


In a hybrid, cloud and on-premise world, the issue of knowing where trusted data should/does reside proved a big issue among the CIO respondents, according to Broome. “The ability to avoid SaaS silos and easily obtain consistent data integration and data quality across on-premise and cloud-based data is definitely a top concern among those IT decision makers we surveyed. To address data these integration issues, BI [business intelligence] is definitely now part of the conversations we have with customers,” he said.

“Cloud-based SaaS solutions are just so easy to bring in, companies worry they might be creating silos of data.”

Richard Broome
CIO
Host Analytics


BI makes sense as a way to solve a SaaS-sprawl of data silos, when one considers the business use cases, Broome added. “Users say to IT, ‘I want this data now.’ So, I think we’re getting back to the problem of managing data and making it readily available to business users – and even ways to push different views of data directly to their business users.” 

On this point, the survey found:

  • 74% of respondents said having data from their SaaS applications in a common BI solution would add value 
  • Respondents listed the biggest potential benefits of SaaS BI would include easier access to data currently in application silos (54%), increased visibility (46%) and faster deployment (42%)


Host Analytics president and CEO Jon Kondo added this viewpoint on the survey. “When asked about further possible benefits of the cloud, most [respondents] felt cloud technology offered strong financial benefits and also increased ownership for business stakeholders,” he said.

Host Analytics provides a pure BI-driven solution to address concerns over SaaS-based data silos, and partners with cloud integration providers such as Informatica Cloud, Dell/Boomi, IBM and others.

Host Analytics offers a cloud-based solution that combines corporate performance management (CPM) and business analytics for financial planning, budgeting, scorecarding, consolidation and reporting. It also provides open database connectivity drivers to let adopters access CPM and non-CPM data for a full look at business processes.




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