Even the most dedicated data centre die-hards are coming round to the idea of using the cloud, while the most enthusiastic cloud users are still cautious about it when it comes to delivering secure services. This is according to a new global research report looking at the attitudes of organisations to cloud adoption commissioned by NTT Com Security (formerly Integralis) the power behind WideAngle, the global information security and risk management brand.
According to the research among 700 IT decision makers in USA/Canada, UK, Germany, Nordics, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, all organisations fit into five cloud personas* - personalities defined by their levels of enthusiasm for cloud computing and the extent of their adoption. Ranging from Controllers at one end of the scale, distinctive by their lack of cloud enthusiasm, the personas also include Accepters, Experimenters, Believers, and Embracers who are the most cloud enthusiastic and have benefitted most from its use.
However, even Controllers recognise the inevitability of cloud, with just 29 per cent of this group admitting they have no intention of ever using it. While at the other end of the scale, 81 per cent of Embracers have already moved the majority of their data and services into the cloud.
The report, which also addresses concerns over risk and security issues, shows how a company’s choice of cloud (private, public or hybrid) or non-cloud (corporately-owned or third party data centres) changes when different factors are taken into consideration – potentially driving or delaying deployment of the technology.
While two-thirds of Controllers believe their own data centres are best placed to securely deliver services, scepticism remains even among hard-core cloud users, with over a quarter (26 per cent) of Embracers choosing to deploy services though a corporately-owned data centre when ‘security’ is critical to deployment, and 28 per cent choosing the same when ‘regulation’ is critical to deployment.
“While cloud is now an established and maturing technology, attitudes to adoption still vary greatly among different organisations and across different geographies,” explains Garry Sidaway, Global Director of Security Strategy at NTT Com Security.
“What’s clear is that those using cloud long term do have greater faith in its abilities to deliver in terms of cost benefits, business agility and flexibility and have fewer concerns over security and deploying into new territories. What’s interesting, however, is that there’s still a perceptible level of reticence even among the most active and enthusiastic cloud users when it comes to the question of whether cloud is the best means of delivering secure and legally-compliant services.”
Factors driving or delaying deployment of cloud services
- When considering the increasing range and frequency of cyber threats, over half of Embracers, Believers and Experimenters would choose cloud to deliver ‘secure and legally-compliant services to the business’. - However, Acceptors and Controllers tend to stick to tried and tested data centres, with just 16 per cent of Controllers choosing some form of cloud to deliver secure services.
- ‘Cost’ and ‘security’ are seen across most of the personas as the two most important factors for organisations considering deploying a new application service or changing the delivery of an existing one. While 43 per cent of Controllers choose security and 38 per cent cost as the most important factors in deployment, Embracers are more likely to choose agility (30 per cent) and skills availability (21 per cent). Notably, 43 per cent of Experimenters would deploy through cloud, regardless of whether cost is critical to deployment or not.
- Even as the most cloud-averse, Controllers are more positive about cloud as a way of delivering services to new global territories, with over a third (34 per cent) choosing cloud. Experimenters and Acceptors also place emphasis on the importance of cloud for delivering services into new territories, with 61 and 59 per cent respectively stating it is the best platform for service delivery.
- Asked to rank in order of importance ‘cost reduction’, ‘skills availability’ and ‘speed to market’ as the drivers for the deployment of specific services, cost reduction is the most popular across the first four personas, while fifth group Embracers rank speed to market as most important (44 per cent) followed by cost reduction (30 per cent) and availability of skills (26 per cent).
- Organisations in the USA/Canada are the most cloud enthusiastic, with 28 per cent saying they have already moved the majority of their data and services into the cloud, followed by Germany (24 per cent).
- When it comes to innovation, the USA/Canada also stands out, with 59 per cent actively seeking out and experimenting with new and emerging technologies, followed by Singapore (41 per cent), Japan (26 per cent), Germany (21 per cent) and the UK (20 per cent).
- Cloud adoption has increased in the last two years, with 36 per cent of UK companies indicating deployment within the last one to two years, followed by Germany (34 per cent), the USA/Canada and Singapore (31 per cent each), Japan (25 per cent), and Hong Kong and the Nordics (18 per cent each).
- Over 40 per cent of USA/Canada respondents say cloud is ‘critical’ to how they deploy and maintain services, compared to 32 per cent in Singapore, 29 per cent in Germany and 9 per cent in the UK.
Singapore (45 per cent) places most emphasis on ‘cost’ as a factor when considering deploying a new service or changing the delivery of an existing service.
- Hong Kong places most emphasis on ‘security’ (38 per cent), followed by Nordics (36 per cent) and UK (33 per cent) when considering deploying a new service or changing the delivery of an existing service.
Sidaway adds: "Globally cloud adoption seems to be based on how quickly issues such as security and cost can be reconciled. Once businesses have the right policies in place, they rapidly advance the number of services and applications delivered via the cloud. What's interesting though is that it’s possible to see attributes of different cloud personas in each country, even though they were created globally, with the USA falling into the Embracer and Believer groups, and the UK belonging to the Controller and Accepter personas. But whatever stage businesses are at, cloud is recognised as playing an increasingly important role as they seek to move into new territories and be competitive on a global stage."
Industry analyst, Gartner found similar results in terms of the increase of cloud adoption worldwide and estimates that total spending on cloud services will increase from USD 110 billion in 2012 to USD 210 billion in 20161. By 2014, IT organisations in 30 per cent of Global 1000 companies will broker two or more cloud services for internal and external users, up from 5 per cent today2. More and more companies realise that to stay competitive on the global economic stage they have to start evaluating cloud services based on business benefits and workload/data constraints, otherwise they risk falling behind. Today's cloud market is still very much formed by early adopters and innovators who embrace and believe in the benefits of securely delivering services in the cloud.