Security concerns hindering cloud commitment

Concerns about the security of cloud applications are keeping a significant number of organizations from going further with deploying more of the technology, according to a new report.

CDW LLC, a provider of technology products and services, released its first Cloud Computing Tracking Poll. The research is based on a survey of 1,200 IT professionals in U.S. businesses, government agencies, education and healthcare organizations and was done to assess current and future cloud computing use. The report finds 28 percent of U.S. organizations are using cloud computing today. Most of those organizations, about 73 percent, said that their first step into the cloud was implementation of a single cloud application.

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However, a number of those who are using cloud applications said they are not pursuing further cloud implementation due to security worries. The survey found that IT management at 32 percent of cloud-using organizations name security concerns as a roadblock to further implementation, compared to 45 percent of IT management at non-cloud-using organizations. Skepticism was high at more than half of the organizations with 53 percent of IT managers expressing security concerns and stating their organization’s management does not trust the cloud’s data security. Approximately 40 percent of IT managers said they do not believe the cloud is as secure as their own facilities.

“Many organizations are carefully — and selectively — moving into cloud computing, as well they should, because it represents a significant shift in how computing resources are provided and managed,” said David Cottingham, senior director, managed services at CDW.

Applications most commonly operated in the cloud are commodity applications such as email (50 percent of cloud users), file storage (39 percent), web and video conferencing (36 and 32 percent, respectively), and online learning (34 percent), according to CDW.

Respondents estimated that, on average, only 42 percent of their current services and applications have potential to operate in the cloud. Even the respondents who identified themselves as cloud users — currently implementing or maintaining cloud computing — said they expect to spend no more than one-third of their IT budget (34 percent) on cloud computing by 2016, and at the same time, to save 31 percent of their IT budget by using cloud resources and applications. Non-cloud users said they expect to spend slightly more than one-quarter of their IT budget (28 percent) on cloud computing by 2016, and to save 23 percent by using cloud computing resources and applications.

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