The “cloud” has become quite the buzz word and in all appearances truly loved by the marketing side of the fence also. “Take it to the cloud.” That is one of my favorite lines from a Microsoft commercial campaign that I think really shows how mainstream the cloud has become. Facebook, iTunes, Twitter, Oxygen, Amazon and Acronis are all examples of different cloud services that I connect to on a regular basis. Services for the end users are becoming more and more abundant, which is absolutely fantastic for us, the consumer.
Is the corporate adaptation of the cloud moving at the same speed?
No, I really do not think so yet. Most new clients and projects, that I have been working on lately, have been virtual assessments and initial virtualization deployment. I believe that most companies are more interested in expanding their own virtual presence or initial deployment, then offloading services to a 3rd party provider. That may really change with the SMB market but, I am not so convinced that the larger corporations are ready to migrate, just yet, from what I have seen so far.
So what is the hold up?
In my humble opinion it boils down to two main areas; security of the data and control of the resources. I know that cost can play a part especially with the SMB market and in fact know of one local government that decided it was more cost effective to migrate their email services to the cloud. I have not talked to anyone from the agency to hear how things went but, it goes to show that smaller companies and governments agencies will have costs as one of their biggest concerns. For the larger companies the idea of having the data controlled by a 3rd party can be quite frightening for the security group. Does the cloud provider have adequate controls in place to match the security requirements of the business? Is the data encrypted? Who has access to see my data? These are all questions that keep the security groups awake at night and shows the, year in review, trend to expand or deploy in house virtualization more often than migration to the cloud.
So with 2012 right around the corner, it should be an interesting year for the cloud as we see what new services are going to be available as well as to see what the corporate world trend for the cloud will be.
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