Cloud Computing Survey: IT Leaders See Big Promise, Have Big Security Questions

Cloud computing has become the most over-hyped tech buzzword this year, but CIO's new survey of IT leaders shows that despite security concerns, enterprises see real promise for flexibility and savings from the cloud.

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Show Me the Security

"I believe cloud computing places too many variables out of our control," wrote one respondent in the verbatim comments to our security questions. That opinion is not uncommon among IT vets, according to our research.

How will IT leaders get their heads around the security issues with cloud computing? After all, many IT leaders just got comfortable with virtual servers: now they're being asked to work off virtual servers in cloud providers' physical locations—where their precious data will be further from reach, and co-located with many other customers' data.

Is Cloud Security Strong Enough Yet?

Vendors have not adequately addressed security concerns around on-demand offerings. 59%

SOURCE: CIO Research

Consider this, the CEO of a cloud infrastructure company recently told me: Each day, IT departments hand reams of paper to an Iron Mountain representative and trust that he will shred and destroy it or otherwise deal with it according to instructions. Do you see the rep do it? No, you trust the vendor. Cloud vendors, he said, must get to that kind of trust with IT, before cloud computing can take off in a mainstream way.

Based on our survey results, vendors have a long road ahead before they earn that kind of trust.

Understanding the Cloud and Trusting It Are Very Different

Despite the amount of marketing hype in the marketplace right now, your core understanding of cloud computing is not the problem, according to our survey results. A full 78 percent of you call yourselves very or somewhat knowledgeable about the cloud.

How Knowledgeable Are You About Cloud Computing?

Somewhat knowledgeable 51%
Very knowledgeable 27%
Not very knowledgeable 13%
Not at all knowledgeable 7%
Not sure 2%

SOURCE: CIO Research

It's just early in the game and your security and integration concerns are real.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY NOTE: The margin of error on a sample size of 173 is plus or minus 7.5%. Percents on questions where a respondent could only select one answer may not sum to 100 due to rounding. Not all respondents answered all questions.

Related:

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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