AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Interest in cloud computing has grown substantially over the past couple of years. Enterprises in New Zealand are constantly evaluating adoption of cloud computing to improve business agility, increase standardisation of IT infrastructure and lower cost of delivering IT services. Frost & Sullivan's research, State of Cloud Computing New Zealand 2012 reports that of the organisations in New Zealand that currently use cloud computing services, 40% spend more than 10% of their total IT budget on cloud solutions or services, while 20% spend more than 20% of their total IT budget. Larger organisations generally spend significantly more on cloud computing services than smaller ones. Phil Harpur, Senior Research Manager, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan says that 57% of organisations in New Zealand that are currently using cloud solutions plan to increase their cloud-based solutions budget significantly over the next 12 months, reflecting a market very much in a growth phase. Security was cited as the most important criteria when selecting a cloud vendor, followed by trust, reliable services and support, hosting capabilities in NZ, company reputation, value added services, price and ROI. "Vendors must also have sufficient SLAs, a good product roadmap, offer sufficient product scalability and demonstrate strong channel partner capabilities" Harpur added. Compared to Australia, where 70% of organisations plan to increase their spending on cloud services, New Zealand's tempered growth is largely due to data sovereignty and latency issues. "Local providers guarantee data remains in New Zealand but are more expensive than multinationals hosting data offshore, thus the value proposition is not as strong" Harpur explained. Benefits of moving to the cloud The ability to lower overall IT costs is the leading driver for the adoption of cloud computing. Andre Clarke, Country Manager, New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan says "Moving to the cloud enables organsiations to reduce CAPEX, and provides a great deal of flexibility and agility allowing organisations to add scalable computing resources very quickly and at relatively low cost. This in turn greatly reduces some of the risk associated with developing new products which in the medium to long term will help stimulate market innovation." It also allows organisations to free up key resources previously dedicated to more traditional IT services and focus on other aspects of operations while providing flexibility to meet business demand via real-time /on-demand computing.