While much of the upside potential for cloud computing service adoption will occur in the developed markets this year, there's significant opportunities within the emerging markets around the globe.
In Brazil, as an example, cloud computing demand is evolving rapidly -- with 41 percent of companies already using these solutions and 42 percent planning to use them by the end of 2015, according to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan.
Approximately 25 percent of Brazilian companies will be investing in cloud solutions for the first time. While the majority of these companies are opting for the private cloud model, it is anticipated that the hybrid (public/private) model will become the preferred approach over time.
By the end of 2015, 66 percent of Brazilian companies are forecast to use at least one cloud offering.
The upside opportunity does include some caveats, however, that may impact further adoption. While the Brazilian companies now have a better understanding of the cloud computing concept, many still have concerns surrounding the perceived lack of data confidentiality.
Clearly, security is an important factor when considering cloud computing. Therefore, it's not surprising that infrastructure, connectivity and service-level agreement have been cited as the most important criteria for selecting cloud computing providers in Brazil.
The biggest current challenge for cloud computing providers is to build user confidence. Many hesitant CIOs and IT managers believe that sending information to the cloud makes it more vulnerable. Culturally, Brazilian companies prefer centralized control.
As a result, Frost & Sullivan analysts believes that some executives equate the use of cloud computing with a loss of control. That being said, these same companies are typically not as well-equipped as cloud service providers to fend off advanced cyber threats.
"Cloud computing service providers must make clients aware of efforts they make to boost data security," said Guilherme Campos, ICT industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "They should also ensure that clients understand that their data will be secure and inaccessible to other companies."
These combined measures will help cloud computing service providers expand their customer base. Already, some Brazilian companies say they're turning to cloud computing to specifically reduce their IT costs. By replacing their traditional IT capital expenditure with a just-in-time operating expense, they'll only pay for what they need and use.