Study: Detailed strategy imperative to successful cloud implementation

March 21, 2012

Cloud computing has become a proven enterprise commodity capable of enhancing business functions, reducing IT costs and accelerating innovation. However, before firms jump into the world of public, private and hybrid cloud environments, it's essential they develop a detailed, well-planned cloud strategy that includes organizational policies for cloud adoption, security, access control and data protection.

According to a recent study by BMC Software, the drive to adopt cloud services has increased tensions between business and IT leaders, as they often have opposing goals and priorities, as well as different levels of knowledge about the cloud. The survey of more than 300 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects from the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region revealed high expectations for fast, low-cost adoption of cloud technology has facilitated new obstacles for IT departments.

"This survey has helped us to pinpoint the pains felt by both the business and IT as they struggle to adapt IT strategies to the avalanche of public cloud consumption," said Mark Settle, BMC's CIO. "The conclusion is that the need for a comprehensive, unified environment is becoming a top priority for business to connect everything - from the mainframe to the cloud."

The study, which was conducted by Forrester Consulting, revealed 81 percent of respondents believe creating a detailed cloud strategy is a high priority for the next 12 months. However, it's also apparent that business leaders have different views of the cloud than IT personnel, as 72 percent of surveyed CIOs said they agree or strongly agree that their executives see the cloud as a way to be independent of IT.

Although organizational departments and leaders may disagree on the functionality and advantages of the cloud, most stakeholders acknowledge the importance of protecting private company data in cloud environments. Experts say security concerns are among the top deterrents of cloud adoption, but proper planning and developing a customized cloud security strategy can help eliminate those barriers. Additionally, some enterprises have implemented data protection and access control solutions designed specifically for the cloud.

-McAfee Cloud Security