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Cloud technology is almost universally acknowledged for its catalysing effect on invention and customer retention, according to new research from Oracle. However, there are still major barriers to adoption.

In Oracle’s study 92% of its sample group of industry leaders testified that the cloud enables them to innovate faster. It also helps companies keep afloat better, with nearly three quarters (73%) reporting that using cloud technology has helped them to retain existing customers more effectively. The cloud also comes out well as a strategic weapon, with 76% of enterprises saying that the newer, more flexible model for handling information helps them to win new customers.

However, the study conducted for Oracle by IDG Connect indicates there is much room for improvement in the adoption of cloud computing. Only half (51%) of the survey sample say their businesses will have reached cloud maturity within two years. According to an Oracle statement, this is a consequence of current uncertainty about moving to the cloud.

Though a compromise between privately owned IT systems and publicly available services is seen as the obvious choice, there are grave concerns about hybrid cloud adoption. Instead of getting the best of both worlds with a hybrid system, many users (60%) reported that the thought of managing multiple IT architectures was off putting. There are fears about the reliability and availability of network bandwidth, which was cited by 57% of the survey as a barrier to adoption. The lack of trust in the relationship with IT suppliers was also a major concern with 52% of the survey sample. Meanwhile those building private cloud infrastructures continue to see security as the prime concern, according to Oracle.

Attitudes could change, but that involves converting the considerable opposition of cloud-sceptics.  There are still significantly large numbers of IT experts who say that winning over key business decision makers is their biggest challenge. This was identified as an issue for 29% of those surveyed.

Johan Doruiter, Oracle’s Senior VP of Systems in EMEA, remained optimistic. “As cloud rapidly reaches maturity, we are seeing a shift in how enterprises perceive the chief benefits and barriers to adoption,” he said. “Traditional concerns have been replaced by the operational worries.”

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