In a recent CIOZone.com blog which argued against the premise that CIOs and organizations will universally embrace the cloud within three years and leave their own datacenters dark we received some interesting community feedback.
This feedback is summarized below:
It is clear that many IT professionals are concerned not just about the obvious security issues but about the viability of their IT departments in the long run. The key question they need to ask is how good is the security within their own companies? Are they using contractors inside the data center? I suspect that internal security is not that good. A lot will depend on how reliable the cloud vendor is. Companies will inevitably move to cloud computing by partnering with well trusted vendors that can verify their practices.
-- Judith Hurwitz
Coincidentally I wrote a blog post this week about the priority being given by the Federal Government in the US to cloud services. Given the fact that the Fed is the largest buyer of IT services in the world it seems inevitable that Cloud services will mature to overcome any perceived downside. The economies of scale are IMO a force that will drive companies to move this way. I'd be surprised if the number of businesses on cloud IT services is not much higher than 20% given that the vast majority of small businesses will outsource all their IT needs (beyond laptops) to cloud services - and the vast majority of businesses fall into this category.
I can't agree more with this message. When it comes down to it the technology has yet to be really tested and this will greatly limit its implementation by most companies. This is not to say that some companies may use it for services with less security restrictions. The assertion that 20% of these companies will completely outsource just sounds like shilling for their advertisers.
-- Sean Stevens
The blog is repeated here below for your convenience.
These days research analysts are falling all over themselves projecting how enthusiastically the cloud is going to be adopted by corporate America. Most recently, Gartner went to far as to assert that cloud computing will become so widely used that 20 percent of all businesses will have no IT assets in two years.
None. Zip, Zero. Okay, maybe a printer or two, but you can kiss those servers and data management centers goodbye.
There’s one potential flaw is this assessment: IT doesn’t want the cloud.
The reasons for this are both stated and, I suspect, unspoken. Let’s start with the first. A survey that came out earlier this week indicates that almost half (45 percent) of U.S. IT professionals canvassed believe that the operational and security risks of cloud computing outweigh its benefits.
That finding comes from the first atnnual "IT Risk/Reward Barometer” report put out by ISACA, or Information Systems Audit and Control Association, a trade group consisting of enterprise IT administrators and IT audit specialists.Of the more than 1,800 IT professionals responding to the survey, only 17 percent were bullish on cloud computing.
The remaining 38 percent indicated that they thought the risks were appropriately balanced.
More tellingly, only 10 percent of respondent organizations plan to use cloud computing for mission-critical IT services. And more than one-fourth of the respondents (26 percent) do not plan to use the cloud at all.
"The cloud represents a major change in how computing resources will be utilized, so it's not surprising that IT professionals have concerns about risk vs. reward trade-offs," said Robert Stroud, vice president of IT service management and governance for the service management business unit at CA Inc.
Risk maybe the overriding objection, but I suspect fear and plain old foot dragging may be the other factors in thisequation. If in a year and a half, twenty percent of American business will have jettisoned all their IT assets. the IT managers and staffers at those organizations may well be wondering so what’s going to happen to their jobs?
If the bullish scenarios about the cloud are on the mark, those companies getting rid of their IT resources are likely to pink slip a good portion of their workforce as well.
No wonder IT personnel don’t get all warm and fuzzy when talk turns to the cloud.
Of course, acceptance of the cloud is likely inevitable whether IT gets on board or not. Another recent study of IT professionals, this one sponsored by Symantec and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, found that users and business departments are making decisions about moving to the cloud without input,approval or even the knowledge of IT and IT security. CIOs and CSOs are being excluded from the loop.
But, hey, not to worry. If there’s a major IT security disaster in your organization, they’ll always be work for IT cleaning up the mess.