More than a quarter of IT executives that use high-performance computing (HPC) plan to introduce private clouds this year, with cost reduction and application workload demand acting as the main reason for adopting the cloud.

That's according to new research from grid specialist Platform Computing, after it surveyed 103 IT executives at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in June and found that 28 per cent were going down the private cloud path.

Two thirds, or 67 per cent, said they are planning to run simulation and modeling applications over the cloud, highlighting the need for greater computing power for intensive tasks. 32 per cent of respondents said they were considering web services as a potential area for private cloud use, while 18 per cent cited business analytics.

And it seems that IT executives are positive about the benefits of the technology, with most (41 per cent) citing 'improving efficiency' as the biggest motivation for establishing a private cloud. This was followed by 'resource scalability' (18 per cent), 'cutting costs; (17 per cent), 'experimenting with cloud computing' (15 per cent) and 'improving IT responsiveness' (nine per cent).

According to Platform, the compute-intensive nature of HPC applications lends themselves to the benefits of shared resource pools of private clouds.

Yet it seems that CIOs and IT managers do still have to overcome some internal hurdles, with the survey finding that business decision makers are not fully aware of the benefits the technology can deliver. 76 per cent of respondents admitted they do not feel that the business decision makers understand the potential of private clouds.

Also over one third (37 per cent) felt organisational culture was the biggest barrier to establishing a private cloud. Others cited complexity of managing (26 per cent), security (21 per cent), upfront costs (eight per cent) and application software licensing (eight per cent).

"The private cloud route offers organisations a responsive, cost effective infrastructure model and supports IT's obligation to oversee fundamental corporate requirements, including governance, compliance, business continuity, cost management and risk management," said Randy Clark, CMO.

"IT executives are clearly convinced about the efficiencies and cost savings that private clouds will deliver, but as the research highlights, senior business decision makers are not yet on-board. If enterprises are to reap the full benefits of private clouds, the IT function will evolve to become a business service partner to the business," said Clark. "While this transition will not happen overnight it's hugely important and will require internal leadership and world-class vendor support."

Platform did not respond to an interview request at the time of writing.