Optimism pervades business IT opinion of cloud

June 29, 2012

After so many doubts and concerns surrounded cloud security and reliability in the past, new research presents a sunnier picture for the future. A study by Rackspace found that 91 percent of IT decision makers have an overall positive opinion of cloud computing. Dimensional Research, in a separate study, surveyed IT executives and discovered that 92 percent of respondents believed that adopting cloud technology was good for business.

Cloud computing has become so prevalent in the world of IT that Rackspace revealed many decision makers would not be willing to take a job if the company did not use cloud services. Fewer than 50 percent of respondents said they would take the job, while 28 percent claimed they would expressly turn an offer down.

"The world is in the midst of a tectonic shift toward cloud computing that is revolutionizing the way companies do business," Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier said.

Cautious optimism
Although the consensus was that migration to the cloud would prove beneficial to business, most of the respondents were hesitant to dive in head first without first considering some of the negatives. Although data security in the cloud was bumped from its usual top spot atop the list, as it was in the months and years past in other studies, the integration of data and the ability to move it between clouds was a top consideration.

Ninety-two percent of those surveyed by Rackspace felt the ability to move data from one cloud provider to another was important. Dimensional Research echoed the issues that made data protection and integration a concern, with 67 percent reporting problems integrating data between applications when they did adopt the cloud. Partly because of the troubles with integration, respondents expressed trepidation over not knowing where their data was located.

Rogue IT development
Both studies reported a concerning development in the lack of total IT oversight, as other areas of the business took it upon themselves to install cloud services without going through the IT department. When that happens, it becomes harder to ensure that the platform in use is truly secure cloud computing.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed by Rackspace expressed knowledge of cloud services that wasn't provided by the IT department, whether it was to save time or even just to avoid working with IT in general. Respondents in the Dimensional Research study reported being asked to take ownership of cloud solutions purchased without their involvement 37 percent of the time.

-McAfee Cloud Security