As businesses get ready to capitalize on emerging technology trends in 2012, cloud computing remains at the top of many companies' lists: Fifty percent of respondents to a recent Unisys (NYSE: UIS) online poll said cloud computing is their top IT investment priority for 2012. This is the second straight year respondents to a Unisys poll named cloud as the chief priority for IT investments in the coming year.
In a similar poll conducted in December 2010 and January 2011, 44 percent of 262 respondents said cloud computing topped their IT priority list for 2011. The more recent poll, which drew 300 responses, was conducted on the company's Website in September and October 2011. Other respondents to the poll listed cyber-security (21 percent), mobile/social computing (21 percent) and big data (8 percent) as their top 2012 IT priorities.
"Over the past two years cloud computing has moved into the mainstream of IT investment decisions," said Colin Lacey, vice president of data center services and solutions for Unisys. "From the U.S. federal government's -cloud first' policy to enterprise business units' demands for greater IT responsiveness, business decision makers are embracing both private and public cloud computing models. They now see the cloud as a vital way to obtain IT services that enable them to provide solutions for clients and deliver competitive products to market quickly and cost-efficiently."
The company advises clients interested in the cloud to take a "hybrid enterprise" approach, integrating the cloud solution with existing IT resources and managing the integrated environment as a single entity. By doing so, they can preserve and capitalize on existing IT investments while avoiding "cloud in a corner" syndrome, where new cloud-based solutions are disconnected from existing IT resources, resulting in duplication of processes and higher operating costs, Lacey said.
Unisys recently announced version 2 of its Secure Private Cloud platform, the company's cloud solution for clients' and cloud service providers' data centers. The enhanced solution incorporates enhancements to the core software stack, as well as expanded management, security and infrastructure automation capabilities. The platform also uses a usage metering capability that collects information on utilization of IT resources, such as processors, memory, I/O and storage. The system then allocates the charges back to the business organizations that use them. Each business group pays only for the resources it uses.