Almost half (49 percent) of CIOs intend to increase their investment in cloud technologies over the coming year, according to research.

Easynet Global Services questioned 800 IT heads across Europe, including 200 in the UK, about their cloud strategies.

Only one in five considered their corporate network to be a "key concern" when moving to the Cloud, although 43 percent have identified that they would need to upgrade their network.

Some 57 percent said that when moving into the cloud, their network could cope without any extra investment. But Justin Fielder, CTO at Easynet Global Services, said: “CIOs must realise that the ability to deliver to end-users is a vital element of any cloud strategy. Companies will not get the benefits they expect from cloud computing unless CIOs consider the entire scenario, not just where their data is stored.”

He said: "There is not much point having your applications running in the cloud if you can’t actually access them, but this research suggests the majority of CIOs have yet to appreciate this.”

A third of respondents in the survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, said the Cloud posed a material risk to their business because they cannot guarantee uptime to their end users.

Reducing IT spend was the most important consideration for CIOs in their cloud decision-making process, with 55 percent believing that moving to the cloud would bring cost savings. Flexibility and scalability were also considered key advantages.

But in spite of their focus on spending, less than a third of CIOs were confident that they had a method of measuring the return on investment of their cloud projects, "showing another clear disconnect between companies' goals and how they plan to go about achieving them", said Easynet.

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