Security Concerns Cloud the Benefits of Cloud Services

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A recent survey completed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) reveals that almost half of IT Professionals in the U.S. say that the risks of cloud computing outweigh the benefits.

ISACA’s first annual survey shows that more than 45 percent of respondents feel the risks of cloud computing outweigh the major benefits offered by the technology. However, 38 percent of the 1,809 U.S. IT professionals surveyed felt that the risks and benefits of cloud computing were equally balanced. Some 17 percent said that the benefits outweigh the risks. The survey highlights the benefits of cloud computing’s high return on investment (ROI), lower total cost of ownership (TCO), increased efficiency and pay-as-you-go options. The respondents are all members of the ISACA.

For the channel, those numbers can actually translate into good news – a quick interpretation of the results shows that 55 percent of IT professionals will consider cloud computing as a viable option for IT operations, creating a significant opportunity for the purveyors of cloud technologies. On the other hand, the remaining 45 percent might not be ready to adopt the technology, but with a little persuasion, those with concerns might become amiable to the benefits of cloud computing.

However, there will be some additional perceptions to change before claiming a major opportunity for the channel. Although the majority of the respondents indicate that cloud computing is acceptable, only 10 percent of respondents' organizations plan to employ cloud computing solutions for mission-critical IT services, while 26 percent have no plans to use cloud computing at all. Some 18 percent have not yet established any plans to implement cloud computing, while 15 percent intend to limit cloud computing to non-mission-critical services.

Although the numbers out of ISACA are some what contradictory, the potential for the channel remains large – especially with a report released by Global Industry Analysts predicting that the cloud-services market should grow to $222.5 billion by 2015. Any way you slice it, the cloud seems to be an unstoppable force that most businesses will eventually turn to for some, if not the majority, of IT services. Solution providers need to establish their plans for the cloud and related services today, to reap the benefits that will surely come tomorrow.

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