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Expected benefits of cloud computing, 2013. % of survey respondents reporting these as ‘high’ or ‘very high’

Expected benefits of cloud computing, 2013. % of survey respondents reporting these as 'high' or 'very high'

Expected benefits of cloud computing, 2013. % of survey respondents reporting these as ‘high’ or ‘very high’

However, cost is not the only, or even the most important, driver for adoption of cloud services: in a 2014 Gartner survey of chief information officers, cost savings only represented 14% of the reasons for use of the public cloud. Rather, it is the rapidity with which cloud resources can be obtained, and the elasticity in cloud suppliers’ ability to meet that demand, that means that companies do not have to plan to invest large sums in ICT hardware and software. The cloud allows enterprises to scale up applications rapidly, and to pay for computing services only when demand arises rather than in advance. In other words, they can purchase computing resources ‘just in time’ rather than ‘just in case’ which means that they are able to treat ICT expenditures as operating rather than capital expenditures. Because the need for capital is reduced, the barriers to entry into a market are lower for start-ups or firms wishing to innovate.

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