Cloud Computing: Definition Confusion Finally Coming to Forefront?

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Value-added reseller CDW LLC says 28 percent of U.S. organizations now use cloud computing.

CDW also found in its latest study – its first-ever Cloud Computing Tracking Poll – that 84 percent of the 1,200 respondents say they already have deployed at least one cloud application. However, those IT professionals said they don’t actually consider themselves to be cloud users, perhaps because the programs they access through the Internet are ones they’ve used for months or years. Of the organizations surveyed, the most common cloud applications are email (50 percent), file storage (39 percent), Web and video conferencing (36 and 32 percent, respectively), and online learning (34 percent). CDW’s definition of cloud computing is a model for enabling on-demand access to shared resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications and services.

“Many organizations are carefully – and selectively – moving into cloud computing, as well they should, because it represents a significant shift in how computing resources are provided and managed," said David Cottingham, senior director of managed services at CDW.

To that point, respondents estimated that, on average, only 42 percent of their current services and applications have potential to operate in the cloud. Even the IT professionals who identified themselves as cloud users said they expect to spend no more than one-third of their IT budgets on cloud computing by 2016, and at the same time, to save 31 percent of their IT budget by using cloud resources and applications. Of those users, 84 percent said they save about 21 percent each year on the applications moved to the cloud.

“The fact that even current cloud users anticipate spending just a third of their IT budget on cloud computing within five years suggests that before wide-scale implementation, IT managers are taking a hard look at their IT governance, architecture, security and other prerequisites for cloud computing, in order to ensure that their implementations are successful," Cottingham said.

Non-cloud users said they expect to spend slightly more than one-quarter of their IT budget on cloud computing by 2016, and to save 23 percent by using cloud computing resources and applications.

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