Cloud service providers will need to address several IT management concerns -- including security, reliability and vendor lock-in -- before they can win more early adopters, according to Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC.
In a late-2009 IDC survey of 263 IT and business executives, respondents cited the following concerns about cloud computing (in descending order): security, availability, performance, possibly higher costs, and a lack of interoperability standards.
Respondents said the benefits of cloud computing could include faster deployments, payments based on actual usage, and a need for fewer in-house staffers.
The IT managers polled also said they like the fact that the cloud model "encourages standard systems." That's because "one of the largest sources of IT complexity and cost is the huge sprawl of distinct, yet functionally redundant, systems and applications in most organizations," Gens said. In contrast, he noted, cloud computing is built on standard, shared systems.