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September 28, 2012

Government Regulations and Exit Strategies Top Cloud Concerns

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

When it comes to adopting cloud, IT decision makers and C-level executives are most concerned about government regulations, exit strategies and international data privacy.

Findings from the “Cloud Market Maturing” survey, conducted jointly by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and ISACA, reveals trends regarding the adoption of cloud services among all levels within today’s global enterprises and businesses, including the C-suite.

Cloud users in 50 countries were least confident about the following issues (ranked from least confident to most confident):

1.      Government regulations keeping pace with the market 
2.      Exit strategies 
3.      International data privacy 
4.      Legal issues 
5.      Contract lock in 
6.      Data ownership and custodian responsibilities 
7.      Longevity of suppliers 
8.      Integration of cloud with internal systems 
9.      Credibility of suppliers 
10.   Testing and assurance

While cloud users see the value of cloud services, the industry still needs to more clearly define cloud and engage senior-level executives in the consideration process to get their buy in, according to J.R. Santos, global research director at CSA. 

“As a first step, we as an industry must still work to provide a clearer definition of what cloud is and how the many innovative and secure services can help positively impact today’s businesses,” Santos said in a statement. “But, we need to start at the top and engage senior management. Cloud needs can no longer be thought of as a technical issue to address, but rather a business asset to embrace.”

The survey includes responses from more than 250 participants from nearly 50 countries, representing a global group of cloud users, providers, consultants and integrators from 15 industry segments. Participants, 85 percent of whom identified themselves as cloud users, were asked to rank on a scale of zero to five a number of considerations in cloud computing including:

  • Use of cloud services and level of satisfaction
  • Factors in making cloud decisions
  • Level of cloud maturity
  • Innovation in the cloud
  • Expectations about the cloud
  • Cloud support for business goals
  • Forces that influence adoption and innovation
  • Confidence and optimism in the cloud market

While the return on investment angle is often cited as a top reason to move toward cloud, survey participants said that so-called business enablers – rather than financial considerations – are the primary factors in cloud decisions.

IT decision makers also said they feel there is room for improvement regarding innovation in the cloud. Nearly one in four (24 percent) indicate that there is no or limited levels of innovation in the market. Forty-three percent believe there is a moderate level of innovation, while 33 percent report that the level of innovation in terms of products, services and business use is significant.

“Results show that CIOs and IT management understand cloud best and are most involved in driving cloud innovation in their organizations. This limits cloud maturity and innovation since cloud continues to be viewed as a technical solution and not as a business enabler,” said Yves LeRoux, a member of CSA and the ISACA Guidance and Practices Committee. “Cloud can provide business-building innovation, but there needs to be more buy-in among business leaders and C-level executives on value and risk.”

Steven Markey, president of the CSA’s Philadelphia chapter, will be speaking at the upcoming Cloud Communications Expo session, “The Mobile Enterprise: How to Stay Protected in the Cloud,” which will be held on Oct. 3 from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center.

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Austin 2012 taking place Oct 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud Communications Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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