The data was based on a survey of more than 400 KPMG consultants working on cloud-related projects for customers, as well as from top executives at more than 20 other global business and IT service provider, said Stan Lepeak, research director in KPMG’s shared services and outsourcing advisory group.

Cloud computing buyers scored worst on managing and governing cloud initiatives and engagements, with advisers giving them a score of 1.81 and service providers giving them a score of 2.35 — on a scale where one was “very unskilled” and five was “very skilled.”

Cloud computing buyers scored better — but not much better — on understanding the technical underpinnings of cloud computing, with advisers giving them a score of 2.39 and service providers giving them a score of 2.73.

User companies scored between these two ranges on their abilities to source and structure cloud initiatives and engagement, assessing cloud computing vendors, understanding how cloud computing fits in with existing company projects and technologies, assessing and understanding cloud risks, and assessing the maturity of cloud technologies.

“Despite the potential of cloud computing, if buyers cannot successfully execute on its implementation its adoption could create more problems than it solves,” said KPMG in the report.

The results were not surprising, KPMG said, given the immaturity and fast evolution of this market.

“The situation is not dissimilar to the early days of the Internet when buyers struggled to define and execute on strategies to exploit its business potential,” the company said.