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Cloud Computing 'May Be a Lot of Hot Air'

By Craig Galbraith
May 01, 2012 - News

Despite the fact that "cloud" has become a ubiquitous technology term, more than half of IT pros who responded to a new survey said it's "too risky for prime time" and only suitable for commodity applications like CRM and email.

Wisegate, which bills itself as the anti-social network for senior IT professionals, polled its members – IT execs from midsized and large companies – and found that 53 percent had "no near-term plans" to adopt the cloud for its company's critical data. That prompted the company to wonder if the cloud computing craze is nothing but "a lot of hot air."

The law seems to be getting in the way for some companies. A number said government or industry regulations (such as HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley) prevent them from adopting cloud-based applications.

Only 16 percent said they were moving ahead with cloud plans; even those respondents said they would need a comprehensive contract and a service-level agreement (SLA). The other 25 percent said their company was apprehensive about cloud computing but have some near-term plans in place.

One Wisegate member from a large government agency said, “Even with SaaS, we’ve had lots of stumbles early on. In particular, not having an identity management federation strategy in place has proven to be a pain point."

Other survey questions revealed that security is still a major concern. But Wisegate says for organizations putting applications like email in the cloud, there are a couple of keys to consider, including: ensuring that SLAs cover connectivity, response time, uptime and issue resolution; knowing what the maximum “send" and “receive" limits are for each mailbox and for the entire organization; and understanding the disaster recovery (DR) and digital archiving processes offered by the chosen service provider.

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