Recession to thank for cloud popularity


The adoption levels of cloud computing are on the rise, but it is the economic environment rather than the revolutionary technology driving it.

This is the belief of Per Jonsson, chief executive (CEO) of Cordys, who claimed attitudes toward the cloud had shifted during the economic downturn.

Speaking to Cloud Pro at the company’s annual customer conference – Cordial 2011 – he said: “When I first join the company I asked Jan (Baan, the company’s founder) why all the ERP companies grew so much in 1999, such as SAP [and] Oracle… and Jan said it was Y2K of course.”

“You need [a catalyst] for everybody to buy new enterprise software.”

Jonsson added: “The recession in the last few years, for both public sector and private sector, is the reason the cloud has become popular, let’s not fool ourselves.”

“Three years ago it was all about secrecy and privacy… now you can get customers to pay more money for cloud systems.”

He believed the aspect of saving money was why the public sector was getting on board with the technologies at a time when Governments are making cuts and stretching tax money further than before.

“If you look at Government in the Western world today, the recession has clearly, clearly mandated them to save money so they have to find a new way to work,” said Jonsson.

“We the citizens are not going to ask less of our Government. We pay the same taxes and want the same services.”

However, he understood why some public sector organisations were hesitant to try out cloud computing.

“They have had many bad experiences… across the Western world [and] a lot of [IT] projects have not gone well,” added Jonsson.

“I think [Western governments] are a bit shell shocked, I’d say, and [nervous] about these systems so we need to prove, with lots of use cases, [it is trust worthy].”

The chief marketing officer (CMO) at Cordys, Hans de Visser, used the Singapore Government as an example where the cloud was being used successfully and with full faith of those implementing it.

“[Singapore] is extremely focused on creating this ‘ecloud’ and more will roll out to the rest of the world, I am more than certain of it,” he said.”

But why are Eastern governments so much more positive than the West?

“Singapore set up their government cloud 8 years ago [and] they had no legacy except pen and paper,” explained Jonsson.

“Many of the western enterprises and public sector [organisations] have so much legacy [so] there is more scepticism, whereas Singapore can just jump on the next new technology.”

Yesterday, Martin Bellamy, director of change and ICT at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), said the UK’s own cloud project, the G-Cloud, was “alive and kicking” after a period of quiet from the Government.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum, attended by Cloud Pro, he said: “I hope I have managed to convey to that anybody who thought G-Cloud has gone a bit quiet [and asked] has it died, my message is that no, it hasn’t.”

“It is very much alive and kicking and we are going to make it happen.”

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.