Report: Cloud represents fastest-growing IT outsourcing segment

August 7, 2012

Businesses today are beginning to understand that managing and maintaining legacy solutions and equipment is becoming more of a burden than a benefit. As a result, decision-makers are resorting to outsourced environments to enhance operations, reduce IT expenses and guarantee resources are available and accessible from virtually any location.

A new report by Gartner confirmed this finding, noting that worldwide investments on IT outsourcing will exceed $251 billion in 2012, up from $246 billion last year. Cloud computing, in particular, will play an increasingly important role in the transition to outsourced environments, as the hosted services provide companies with high-quality and reliable tools.

Cloud services are changing the IT landscape
Gartner revealed that the fastest-growing segment of the IT outsourcing industry will be the cloud, especially as more organizations adopt Infrastructure-as-a-Service. The research firm forecasts that investments in cloud computing will go beyond providing automation for basic functions, as organizations invest approximately $5 billion in the technology in 2012, up from $3.4 billion in 2011.

"As next-generation business applications come to market and existing applications are migrated to use automated operations and monitoring, increased value in terms of service consistency, agility and personnel reduction will be delivered," Gartner research director Gregor Petri said.

Despite the predicted growth of the hosted services market, cloud security concerns are likely to remain present and potentially disrupt the overall adoption of the technology, the report noted.

"Continued privacy and compliance concerns may, however, negatively impact growth in some regions, especially if providers are slow in bringing localized solutions to market," Petri continued.

By implementing robust data protection and monitoring tools, IT departments can mitigate some of the risks associated with outsourcing operations to the cloud, according to a separate eWeek report.

Additionally, decision-makers can deploy a risk assessment that ensures all users in the environment are identified and all sensitive data is classified and safeguarded, another CRN report said. In doing so, businesses of all sizes using the cloud can avoid potential hazards inherently involved with migrating solutions from premise-based environments to the cloud.

Regardless of the many ongoing concerns regarding the cloud and outsourced environments, companies will continue to leverage the technologies in an effort to enhance productivity, reduce IT expenses and gain a competitive advantage.

-McAfee Cloud Security