Three out of five companies are adopting cloud computing technologies, including private clouds and lower-risk technologies, says a new report. In an e-mail interview with eWEEK, outsourcing expert TPI explains the results of its study.
Almost four out of five companies are discussing
and evaluating how to take advantage of cloud computing technologies, according
to a report by Houston-based outsourcer TPI. Seventy-eight percent of 140 IT
managers surveyed by TPI fit in this category, yet a smaller number are
actually adopting these technologies.
"The major trend with cloud is rapid
adoption among small and medium-size companies and a somewhat more cautious
approach to adoption from large enterprise companies," said Kevin Smilie,
partner at TPI, to eWEEK. "[O]ur recent TPI survey of enterprise clients
suggests that companies are beginning to conduct significant planning activities
to leverage some of the opportunities that cloud brings and incorporate them
into implementation plans for later in 2010 and certainly 2011."
The main areas of adoption are in lower-risk
technology categories. Low-risk services being considered by nearly half of
respondents included hosted e-mail, messaging applications, desktop and server
virtualization, and storage services. Larger, more complex and already heavily
invested applications like ERP systems were only being considered by 10 percent
Security and other risk factors are still of the
utmost importance to the enterprise, with 79 percent stating that cloud
security is inadequate or unclear. Forty-nine percent are concerned with
integration to legacy systems, and another 49 percent are concerned about
losing company data. Half of respondents worry about noncompliance with
regulations, and disaster recovery and business continuity issues.
"The main concerns [of potential customers]
are security when we are talking the public cloud," said Simile. "Other
concerns include being locked into a supplier and future cost of cloud services,
since many of the new cloud suppliers do not offer multiyear pricing."
Private clouds are appealing to many companies
to help thwart security concerns. Why private clouds?
"A private cloud running virtual servers
offers economies of scale (lower cost, leveraged computing power during peak
demand, etc.) that one cannot achieve without virtualization, and of course
sets you up to move certain applications to the public cloud, which should
offer the absolute best economies of scale, lower cost, etc.," said
Simile. "The real issue clients face when they plan or consider adopting a
private cloud strategy is the make or buy decision. Do I outsource my data
center and allow someone else to manage my private cloud, do I do it myself, or
[do I do] some combination of the two?"
Another study on cloud computing adoption found
that cost-conscious firms with small IT departments are more likely to adopt
cloud technologies and services than larger ones, according to IT management
application provider Spiceworks.
"Small companies with little existing
infrastructure and outsourced IT are moving most quickly to the cloud, whereas
larger SMBs are taking more measured steps due to considerable
investments in onsite
technology," said Jay Hallberg
, Spiceworks' vice president
of marketing, to eWEEK. "With seven times as many users as the enterprise
market, it's important for cloud service vendors to consider cloud service
adoption patterns and to make it simple for SMBs to manage hybrid on-premises
and cloud solutions."