From Tactic to Strategy: The 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll

CDW’s first Cloud Computing Tracking Poll surveyed 1,200 IT professionals in U.S. organizations* to determine:

  • Where organizations are with cloud adoption
  • What benefits are driving adoption
  • What challenges still hinder progress
  • Recommendations for how organizations can successfully implement cloud computing

In the survey, we defined cloud computing as a “model for enabling convenient, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned.”

Throughout the report, we refer to “cloud users” as those organizations that identified themselves as implementing or maintaining cloud computing.

*Small, medium and large businesses; Federal, state and local government agencies; healthcare organizations; and K-12 and higher education institutions

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Click to Tweet:#CDW report finds 73 percent of cloud-using organizations started with just one application

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To view an in-depth analysis of the CDW 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll, please complete the information form at the link below.

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Selected Highlights

28 Percent of U.S. Organizations are Using* Cloud Computing

  • 38 percent have a written strategic plan for the adoption of cloud computing

Organization Using Cloud Computing*Implementing or maintaining

Industries at a Glance

  • Large businesses and higher education institutions lead on cloud adoption

Industries at a Glance

Cloud Benefits Align with Organizational Goals

  • Cloud computing is helping organizations make progress toward key goals
Cloud Benefits

Organizations Step into the Cloud

  • Cloud users most often begin with a single cloud application. Most also share key characteristics

Cloud Users SaveApplications most commonly operated in the cloud are commodity applications such as email (50 percent of cloud users), file storage (39 percent), web and video conferencing (36 and 32 percent, respectively), and online learning (34 percent).


Planning for the Cloud

  • Develop your vision
    • Understand where your leadership wants to take your organization
    • Build an IT strategy and gain executive sponsorship
    • Commit to a timeline
  • Assess your IT assets
    • Get control of IT costs and conduct full data center assessments
    • Evaluate IT skills and disaster readiness
  • Embrace IT governance
  • Invest in validated architecture
    • Develop enterprise architecture
    • Establish capacity planning discipline
    • Evaluate IT skills and disaster readiness
  • Virtualize everything


CDW hired O’Keeffe & Company to conduct an online survey of 1,200 IT decision makers in March 2011. The sample size results in a margin of error of ±2.7% at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error for industry sub-groups is ±8.0% at a 95% confidence level
Small Business
(20 – 99 employees)
Medium Business
(100 – 499 employees)
Large Business
(500+ employees)
Federal Government
N = 150 N = 150 N = 150 N = 150
64% Less than 50 employees
36% 50 – 99 employees
25% Public
75% Private
66% Public
34% Private
63% Federal civilian
37% Department of Defense
State/Local Government Healthcare Higher Education K-12 Public School Districts
N = 150 N = 150 N = 150 N = 150
45% State
26% County
29% Municipal
79% State
12% County
9% Municipal
31% Private
69% Public
88% Four-year
9% Community college
3% Other
37% < 2500 students
38% 2500-9999 students
25% ≥ 10,000 students
Respondent Demographics:
IT Decision Makers Titles Organization Size
100% of respondents are familiar with their organization’s use of, or plans for, cloud computing
11% Chief/Deputy Chief Information Officer
7% Chief/Deputy Chief Technology Officer
36% IT Director/Manager
34% IT Supervisor/ Specialist
12% IT Systems Engineer
15% < 50 employees
11% 50-99 employees
22% 100-499 employees
35% 500-10,000 employees
17% >10,000 employees