I just received Morgan Stanley’s October 2010 CIO Survey. This is always very interesting primary research about what is on the mind of enterprise CIOs – and since it is focused on where they plan to spend their money it gives great insight into what is going to happen over the next couple of years.

Remember that the conventional wisdom is that cloud computing is threatening to enterprise CIOs – since the cloud is all about outsourcing headcount and capital budget that would formerly have been in house – so the way the story goes is that the cloud is supposedly a threat to the job security of the IT department. Morgan Stanley’s data pretty clearly shows that CIOs are less concerned about conventional wisdom and more concerned about driving business performance.

There were two particularly interesting pieces of information in this year’s survey. First from this chart:
The punchline is that 70% of the CIOs said they plan to adopt cloud computing for at least 10% of their applications – up from just 36% last year and very low numbers the prior year. And 30% say they will have more than 20% of their applications in the cloud.

Now let’s look at their plans for cloud platforms and for Platform as a Service:


Again here 40% is very high adoption for enterprise CIOs – also extremely interesting is that Google has lept into the lead here among cloud platforms – I think most people associate Google with consumer or small business, not with large enterprise.

So what’s the bottom line – even enterprise CIOs are clearly flocking to cloud computing. Contrary to popular wisdom, they aren’t avoiding it because it is a threat to their empires – they see the ROI and flexibility it gives them and as such they are adopting in increasing numbers.