UNIT4 Survey Provides Insight into Back-Office Cloud Adoption Rates in the Public Sector

Published on April 6, 2011 in Computer & Electronics, Computer Software, Internet, Technology


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The Netherlands (April 06, 2011) –

– Cloud Investments Growing Steadily in Line With Commercial Sector

– 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 customer survey designed to gauge the 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 around the world, including 123 in the public sector.

The report revealed four key findings specific to the public sector: 1). Cloud adoption growth remains steady in the public sector in 2011; 2). Back-office cloud adoption is rising at the same rate as in the commercial sector; 3). Finance/Accounting is the most popular back-office function moving to the cloud ahead of CRM and HR; 4). Cloud will gradually impact the public sector back-office over the next 10 years.

Cloud adoption growth remains steady in the public sector in 2011

The survey revealed that public sector organizations are starting to invest more in cloud technology for core back-office functions, although growth will remain steady in 2011. Two of the 123 public sector respondents said their back-office functions were already 100 percent cloud based. 48 percent cited that they do not use any cloud applications in the back-office, exactly the same proportion as those in the commercial sector. This year, 43 percent of public sector respondents plan no investment in cloud while 16 percent expect to increase their investment.

The top three perceived disadvantages of cloud computing among public sector respondents are:

– Reliance on the Internet (59%)

– Loss of control (47%)

– Difficult to customize (29%)

The top three perceived advantages of Cloud computing among public sector respondents are:

– Easier maintenance (53%)

– Automatic updates (39%)

– Ease of set up (39%)

Public sector back-office cloud adoption rising in line with the commercial sector Despite a low level of cloud adoption among public sector organizations currently, and most citing little 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.

Finance/Accounting is public sector’s most popular back-office function moving to the cloud

Finance/accounting is the number one function cited as currently being cloud based in the public sector with 39 percent of the response. This is followed by HR and Procurement, with only four organizations having moved their CRM application into the cloud. These figures mirror the commercial sector response, where almost a quarter said they already use a cloud application for accounting compared to just seven percent using cloud based CRM.

Cloud will gradually impact the public sector back-office 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 eight percent expect applications to remain 100 percent on-premises, while 11 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 81 percent saying they expect to have a mix of on-premises and cloud technology. 52 public sector respondents expect <50 percent of back office applications to be cloud based in 10 years compared to 39 with >50 percent.

“There has been a lot of talk in the public sector about how it can best exploit cloud technology,” said Ton Dobbe, VP product management at UNIT4. “What this survey shows is that the public sector is steadily moving towards cloud computing at the same pace as the commercial sector. As with enterprises in the commercial sector, these organizations have invested heavily in significant back-office systems and will adopt cloud as it affords advantages while meeting their requirements. UNIT4 actively works with its customers in this sector to understand their changing needs and offers a choice of platforms 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 public sector results from UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Sweden,
and Netherlands (
c4) and from Germany, (
7e) and Norway. (

(Due to the length of these URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink 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

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