No clear skies for cloud computing

Despite the potential savings that cloud computing can bring the majority of CIOs are unlikely to make the switch over the next year

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By  Julian Pletts Published  July 6, 2009

Despite the potential savings that cloud computing can bring an organisation the majority of CIOs are unlikely to make the switch over the next year. This is the general impression garnered by US market analysts, the Information Technology Intelligence Corporation (ITIC), in a survey it recently conducted.

"An overwhelming 85% majority of corporate customers will not implement a private or public cloud computing infrastructure in 2009 because of fears that cloud providers may not be able to adequately secure sensitive corporate data," explained principal analyst at ITIC, Laura DiDio in a survey into IT Performance Trends.

The ITIC study looked into the decision making process and perception of IT managers at 300 corporations across the globe. It found unsurprisingly, that security topped the billing when it comes to why they were hesitant about investing in cloud computing. ITIC, however, pointed out that although security is a stumbling block, of those that said they would not be implementing cloud computing in the near future, almost a third said that they were assessing it and had not reached a solid conclusion.

The research suggested that vendors looking to develop the cloud computing market are going to have to work very hard to prove to customers that they will rarely, if at all, face any interruption in services if they decide to implement the hosted model.

“83% of respondents said they would need specific guarantees to safeguard their sensitive mission critical data before committing to a cloud. Additionally, almost three-quarters or 73% of respondents would require guaranteed fast response time for technical service and support,” recorded the study.

ITIC says that the most willingness to explore and potentially invest in cloud services came on the part of larger enterprises. According to analysis of its findings, ITIC reveals that among companies with over 3000 end-users, 57% said they will either deploy, or are considering, a public or private cloud implementation over the next 12 to 18 months. This comes with the cautionary note though that this group is also concerned about the uncertainties of trusting their sensitive data to a public cloud whose provider may be located in a foreign country.

“It is imperative that cloud computing vendors provide customers and prospective customers with transparency and full accountability with respect to crucial issues like security, technical service and support, equipment and capacity of their data centers and an overview of the technology used such as specific server equipment, virtualisation and management. The vendors should also provide specific SLA levels and guarantees in the event those levels are not met,” added the report.

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