Thursday, June 28, 2012
Arguments both for and against cloud computing have been voiced by enterprise IT vendors, industry pundits and experts throughout the past several years. However, to truly gauge the acceptance of hosted technology means taking stock of what companies on the front lines feel and are doing with the cloud.
According to the results of a new poll conducted by Dimensional Research, many chief information officers are enthusiastic about cloud computing, but just a small number of their companies have moved to deploy hosted services. Analysts polled 350 CIOs and IT executives to determine their "attitudes, trends and challenges pertaining to cloud adoption," Dimensional Research stated.
High praise for the cloud
Overall, 92 percent of respondents said that the adoption of cloud computing tools, such as online storage, is good for business operations. Another 67 percent said better systems can be delivered for less money through the cloud.
These sentiments reflect those of many studies released in recent years, as technology professionals agree that cloud computing can make a business more agile, while providing more value for the systems used by employees.
"Our research reveals high optimism and expectations among CIOs and IT executives for cloud adoption and value, but also hurdles including the anticipation that IT will end up operating cloud applications bought by other areas of the business and without input from IT," senior research analyst Diane Hagglund said.
Despite enthusiasm for cloud storage and other hosted services, the adoption of these tools remains relatively low in comparison. Take, for example, the fact that 69 percent of respondents told Dimensional analysts that a majority of their IT infrastructure remains rooted on-premise.
In terms of the specific challenges companies now face in terms of the cloud, 67 percent of respondents to the Dimensional poll said they have had trouble integrating data between cloud-based and on-premise applications. Another 37 percent said many employees have taken it upon themselves to deploy cloud tools without the consent of the IT department.
These responses demonstrate the importance of taking the right approach to a cloud deployment. While considered beneficial for companies of all types, the cloud still represents a dramatic change for most IT organizations, meaning proper planning and other factors must be taken into account.
Cloud marches on
Still, it doesn't appear as if challenges or any of the popular cloud computing concerns are going to get in the way of companies' efforts to store files online. That was evident at the recent Cloud Computing Expo in New York City.
A poll of conference attendees revealed that 73 percent have deployed some form of hosted technology, while 28 percent have done so for at least the past three years. And in terms of which service is most popular, more respondents said they have deployed cloud storage over any other tool.
Among the top benefits of the cloud cited by conference attendees, many pointed to the technology's data protection capabilities. The accessibility of data stored online allows companies to quickly and easily locate and recover their data following an IT disaster, often within 24 hours. Of those respondents who haven't deployed the cloud, they said their recovery timeline is closer to one week.
While the results of the Cloud Computing Expo poll may be skewed due to the nature of the event, they still highlight the enthusiasm that companies have for cloud computing. The technology has revolutionized the IT infrastructure and information storage practices of many companies already with more projected to follow suit in the near future.
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