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Canadians get aggressive with cloud adoption

A recent survey by tech services company Avanade suggests that the cloud adoption growth rate among Canadian enterprises is rising rapidly

Adoption of cloud services among enterprises in Canada is up, placing it among the top three cloud adopters worldwide, a strong departure from 2009 numbers, according to one survey.

Last March, technology services company Avanade Inc. surveyed 573 C-level executives from 18 countries worldwide for its global survey of IT trends. In 2009, Canada was among the lowest cloud adopters, the report suggests. Now, growth in cloud adoption rose to 68 per cent in Canada, leaving us behind only Italy’s 89 per cent rate.

“Public or private, it’s just becoming an accepted architecture,” said Bob Fahey, senior business development director at Avanade.

“We’re seeing that increase globally,” he said. “Canada has been even more aggressive.” Fahey said his team is still analyzing the data, so it’s difficult to give a reason for the change in Canada’s cloud mentality.

Part of it, though, could be the ease of use and high demand for certain applications. Employees are using things like Microsoft Exchange without even considering the IT department, he said. Other apps like note-taking tools or file-sharing sites are also easy to use, he pointed out. “I don’t need any IT support to use that kind of service. I can do all of that without involving IT at all.”

Fear surrounding the cloud is also lessening, he said. “When I started working in the space in 2009, there was a significant amount of concern around data privacy and security,” he said. Now, after success cases have begun piling up and companies saw that “all hell doesn’t break loose,” he said that fear is starting to dissolve. 

It’s actually analogous with the consumer trend in early 2000s, where people were hesitating to use credit cards online, he said. Now, it’s a regular occurrence. “It’s not as traumatic as it once was perceived to be,” he said.

20 per cent of those surveyed said they had implemented cloud applications without IT’s knowledge. With that comes some security risk. “We would strongly encourage a governance model,” Fahey said.

Enforcement is also critical. While 77 per cent of the Canadian companies surveyed said they have policies prohibiting this, 29 per cent said there are no consequences for employees who break the rules-and nearly half only give a warning.

This is especially crucial if Canada’s adoption trend continues, which Fahey is confident it will. “You’re going to have crowd sprawl continue,” he said. “People are going to do what they need to do to stay productive.”