Cloud adoption continues apace

Cloud adoption is increasing as companies identify more IT operations they want to migrate. However, the pace and implementation focus vary according to company size, industry and job titles of parties involved, while security concerns persist as the top challenge to deployment, according to a new survey of 1,672 IT decision-makers.

The results of IDG Enterprise’s survey represent the practices and opinions of technology buyers whose organizations already have, or plan to have, at least one application or some portion of their infrastructure in the cloud. (IDG Enterprise is the parent organization of Computerworld.)

Overall, some 56% of companies are still in the process of identifying IT operations that they want to migrate to the cloud. But more companies are finished with the process now -- 38% compared to 33% last year.

More than two-thirds (69%) of companies have already made cloud investments. The rest plan to do so within the next three years. Companies appear to be moving steadily: Respondents anticipate their cloud usage will expand, on average, by 38% in the next 18 months. At the end of 2015, companies expect to be operating an average of 53% of their IT environments in the cloud.

The survey results also suggest that companies are committed to a mix of private, public and hybrid cloud services for the foreseeable future. On average, cloud deployments are split almost evenly between public (15%) and private (19%) implementations. Although companies intend to adopt public cloud at a somewhat faster pace than private cloud, private cloud models will continue to have the edge.

Regardless of the model they choose, companies plan to dedicate 24% of their IT budgets, on average, to cloud. Firms intend to spend an average $1.6 million during the next year -- 6% more than in 2013. Large companies, not surprisingly, plan to spend considerably more than small and mid-sized companies: $3.3 million compared to $400,000.

None of this is easy, and technology executives and business leaders differ in how they perceive cloud implementation challenges. When asked to name the top three challenges to cloud from the viewpoint of non-IT leaders, 52% cited security, compared to 61% who named this as a challenge for IT. Integration issues, information governance and measuring ROI are also implementation problems identified by the survey respondents.

Uncertainty about whether they can enforce their security policies at provider sites is their number one challenge, cited by 56%. They’re less willing to trust vendors with the job now. The percentage of security decision-makers who share responsibility for cloud security with their cloud provider has fallen from 52% in 2013 to 44% today. More companies (37%, versus 33% in 2013) manage cloud security completely in-house.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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