Cloud acceptance among SAP users has seen a significant increase this year, a new survey of UK & Ireland SAP User Group members has revealed.

The survey showed that 80 percent of organisations - up from 61 percent last year - predict their future SAP implementations will be a mixture of on-premise, on-demand and on-device services.

"This is quite a marked increase on last year. We wouldn't expect our members to jump on the cloud bandwagon - they're mostly on-premise customers. So it's really good," said Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group.

"We are seeing a definitive move towards the cloud as more and more people come to understand it."

However, the survey of 100 user organisations also identified a knowledge gap. Some 58 percent of respondents said that cloud adoption was slowed down by a lack of clarity over SAP's product roadmap, while 27 percent did not know what cloud offerings and associated benefits were available from SAP.

Furthermore, 59 percent said that they did not understand how to upgrade or integrate SAP on-demand modules with their existing SAP implementation.

"We've seen a large demand in knowledge, hence we've got a lot of cloud and mobile, which includes on-demand, streams at our conference this year. We also have streams on the future architecture, so users can understand where they are at the moment, where SAP is going, and what their future SAP architecture is. It's very important for customers to understand that," Dale said.

Although Dale believes that cloud computing technology is here to stay, he said that there is still a lot of fear among user group members around data protection and the cloud (cited by 78 percent of respondents).

"I can't see the on-premise side will ever go away. I know SAP is still trying to put more and more into the cloud [but] we still believe the hybrid model is where the members are going until the fear [around data security] is totally eradicated," he said.

Other survey findings showed that although 64 percent of organisations believe that there is too much hype around cloud, 27 percent already use Software-as-a-Service (Saas) to deliver business-critical applications, up from just 17 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, 56 percent plan to implement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) strategies in the next 12 to 18 months.

The UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference 2011 takes place in Birmingham on 22 to 22 November 2011.