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Cloud: top challenges remain unchanged since its emergence

Research sponsored by SunGard Availability Services shows an overwhelming proportion (86 percent) of CIOs believe that the cloud has been over-hyped. The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne among 250 UK CIOs, also reveals that, despite the cloud’s obvious benefits, CIOs’ top challenges remain unchanged since its emergence.

CIOs were asked about their biggest challenges throughout their technology careers and the challenges they face as they move to the cloud. The top three answers to both questions were exactly the same – keeping data secure and resilient, cost-cutting while maintaining or increasing service levels, and the logistics of moving IT to new platforms. Seventy four per cent agreed that the move to cloud is no different from past major IT transitions in which they were involved.

The sentiment was just as evident when CIOs outlined what they look for in a cloud provider. Again, the primary attributes – reliability, security, reputation and lower costs – are exactly the same as the CIOs claim to have always sought when selecting an IT supplier.

“The research clearly shows that while the IT landscape may have changed, CIOs’ concerns have not,” commented Keith Tilley, managing director UK and executive vice president Europe for SunGard Availability Services. “Businesses are looking to exploit the cloud’s potential, but they’re not willing to give up the security or resilience of their data. And as data continues to grow at an alarming rate, the pressure on CIOs to ensure it’s always available to the organization will only increase, regardless of the platform on which businesses’ data is delivered or stored.”

The research also sends a clear message to IT vendors that they must do better in convincing CIOs of their ability to support customers in their move to the cloud. According to the findings, CIOs are calling for cloud providers to demonstrate greater clarity and visibility in their capabilities in the areas of data protection (71 percent), data security (66 percent) and pricing (45 percent).

Keith Tilley concluded: “As we’ve kept organizations running through the evolution of technology for over thirty years, we’ve had to continually adopt new technologies into our underlying infrastructure in order to allow our customers to exploit their potential. But keeping data secure and available has remained constant. Businesses exploring the cloud have to ask vendors tough questions, and be sure that when they put their data in the cloud, they can get it back.”

www.sungard.co.uk

•Date: 26th May 2011 • Region: UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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