While cloud computing adoption rates have steadily increased over the past several years, a new survey conducted by Cloud Security Alliance suggests a possible tipping point for enterprise IT adoption. The survey polled more than 200 IT and security professionals across the globe, and the results are telling:
- Nearly 65% trust the cloud as much or more than their own on-premise solutions
- 71% of companies have a formal process for employees who intend to use a cloud computing solution or service
- 86% of companies are spending part of their budget on cloud services, but here in the States, only 39% spend more than 20% of their IT budgets on the cloud (compared to 55% elsewhere)
The numbers also suggest that the IT professionals in the US are adopting cloud computing solutions more slowly than their counterparts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Asian-Pacific (APAC). While the adoption rate may be picking up globally, the survey found that 69% of companies in the Americas are moving forward with cloud services compared to 84% in other regions.
The survey uncovered a number of challenges facing some cloud computing solutions. Here are the top-cited concerns:
- Loss of control over IT services – 38%
- Business continuity and disaster recovery – 28%
- Data security – 73%
- Regulatory compliance – 38%
- Compromised accounts and insider threats – 30%
With caution and concern still prevalent despite growing cloud adoption rates, it was interesting to read that while 50% of companies have a policy on acceptable cloud usage, only 16% are fully enforcing it. Shadow IT is still very prevalent within the enterprise, and yet only 8% knew the scope of it within their organization.
A robust cloud computing policy is a must today to counter Shadow IT, BYOD and other Hybrid IT concerns – not to mention the approved use of cloud services. Start with these five questions:
- What external devices running company-approved cloud services will be allowed on your corporate network? Under what circumstances will they not be allowed?
- What company data can be accessed via the cloud or using an external device?
- What cloud-based applications will not be allowed?
- What password or authentication protocols will be required?
- How will IT support the use of cloud computing solutions and services?
As we’ve said before, cloud computing solutions are here to stay and we will continue to see greater enterprise penetration of both cloud-based applications as well as external (BYOD) devices to access them. Tackling the challenges they bear will ultimately determine whether cloud computing solutions deliver on their promise of greater efficiency and productivity.