UNIT4 Survey Provides Insight into Back-Office Enterprise Cloud Adoption Rates

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Netherlands (April 06, 2011) –

– Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC(TM)) Starting to Invest More in Cloud, but Growth Remains Steady

– Hybrid Cloud Expected to be the Computing Model of Choice for the Next 10 Years

UNIT4, the world’s leading provider of business software for fast changing organizations, today announced the results of a survey designed to gauge the current attitudes to cloud adoption for core back-office functions of Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC(TM)). The survey was based on responses from 700 medium to large dynamic organizations based in 12 countries worldwide.

The report revealed four key findings: 1). Cloud adoption rates remain steady in 2011; 2). Cloud adoption among Public Sector organizations will grow in line with commercial sector; 3). Finance/Accounting is the most popular back-office function moving to the cloud ahead of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Resources (HR); 4). Enterprise applications will move to the cloud gradually over the next 10 years.

Cloud adoption rates remain steady in 2011

The survey revealed that BLINC are starting to invest more in cloud technology for core back-office functions, but that growth will remain steady this year. 32 percent of respondents believe they will spend more on cloud computing this year, and 32 percent believe they will spend at the same rate as in 2010. Only four percent expect to spend less and 31 percent expect to spend nothing on cloud computing. Almost half of respondents (334) cited that they do not currently use any cloud applications in the back-office, and another third (222) said that between one and 25 percent of their back-office functions are currently cloud based. Potential for growth in the enterprise space is significant. Six respondents of different organizational size, geography and industry cited their back-office functions to be 100 percent cloud based.

The top three perceived disadvantages of cloud computing are:
– Loss of control (51%)
– Reliance on the Internet (54%)
– Difficult to customize (38%)

The top three perceived advantages of cloud computing according to the survey are:

– Easier maintenance (62%)

– Automatic updates (42%)

– Scalability (44%)

Cloud adoption among public sector organizations will grow in line with commercial sector

Despite a current low level of cloud adoption cited among 123 public sector organizations currently and relatively little planned investment in 2011, 25 percent estimate that cloud will account for between 25 and 50 percent of their back-office cloud applications 10 years from now, and 17 percent estimate it will be between 50 and 75 percent. The key perceived advantage of cloud technology according to the Government sector respondents was easier maintenance while reliance on the Internet and loss of control were perceived as the main disadvantages.

Finance/Accounting is the most popular back-office function moving to the cloud

24 percent of respondents already use a cloud application for accounting, ahead of any other function, according to the survey, while other back-office functions including supply chain management and manufacturing have seen little investment. Surprisingly, only eight percent of the survey respondents said they have invested in cloud based CRM technology.

Enterprise applications will move to the cloud gradually over the next 10 years

UNIT4 asked what proportion of core back-office business applications were likely to be cloud-based 10 years from now. Just nine percent expect applications to remain 100 percent on-premises, while eight percent expect to be completely cloud based. A hybrid approach to cloud adoption appears to be the most popular model for the next 10 years at least with 83 percent saying they expect to have a mix of on-premises and cloud technology. 377 respondents expect <50 percent of back office applications to be cloud based in 10 years compared to 312 with >50 percent.

“UNIT4 actively works with its customers to understand their changing needs and invests in the technology and platforms to meet demand from these fast-changing organizations,” said Ton Dobbe, VP product management at UNIT4. “Cloud adoption rates are increasing, however, the approach to adoption is a careful consideration for organizations that have significant back-office systems in place and rely on ERP to run their business. Our Independence strategy delivers a choice of supporting architectures designed to help them embrace change easily, quickly and cost-effectively at both application and deployment levels.”

About the survey

The aim of the survey was to gauge views and plans relating to Cloud
Computing from medium to large organizations worldwide that typically rely
heavily on back-office technology to support them. Senior level finance and
IT professionals from a range of sectors completed the survey in January and
February. Organizations with 50 employees up to more than 5000 are
represented. View results from UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Benelux,
France and Spain (
37) and from Germany (
17), Hungary (
5f), and Norway (

(Due to the length of these URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste these hyperlinks into your Internet browser’s URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)

Cloud Computing is defined as services or software delivered over the Internet. Back-office applications listed in the survey include finance/accounting, HR, manufacturing, supply chain management, project management, CRM, data analysis/reporting, procurement, payroll and field service management.

About UNIT4

UNIT4 (http://www.unit4.com) is a global business software and services company aimed at helping dynamic public sector, and commercial services organizations to embrace change simply, quickly and cost effectively in a market sector it calls ‘Businesses Living IN Change’ (BLINC)(TM). The Group incorporates a number of the world’s leading change embracing software brands including Agresso Business World, our flagship ERP suite for mid-sized services intensive organizations and Coda, our best-of-class financial management software.

With operations in 17 European countries, as well as 7 countries across North America, Asia Pacific and Africa and sales activities in several other countries, its revenue was EUR421.7 million in 2010. UNIT4 is headquartered in Sliedrecht, the Netherlands and has over 4,000 employees. It is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and is included in the Amsterdam Midcap Index (AMX). For more information on UNIT4 or any of its operating companies, please visit the website at http://www.unit4.com, follow us on Twitter @UNIT4_Group or contact:

Emma Hoyle
Group PR Manager

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Source: UNIT4