CEOs cautious about moving critical apps to cloud

September 07, 2011

How do the CXOs within enterprises view cloud according to the 2011 Symantec Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey?

According to the findings of the 2011 Symantec Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey 43 percent of CFOs who are implementing hybrid/private clouds are less than “somewhat open” to moving business-critical applications into those environments. In fact 43 percent of CEOs are cautious about moving these mission critical applications to the cloud. The survey also showed us that 81 percent felt concerned about performance when moving to the cloud, while 76 percent were worried about the security factor, and 71 percent questioned the reliability of a cloud infrastructure. However reality is bit different, because we also found that even though performance was a big concern pertaining to virtualization, yet more than 75 percent of those who deployed server virtualization achieved their goals related to performance. Now we find that Cloud computing holds tremendous potential to provide significant cost savings and efficiencies to enterprises. However, with this benefit comes the big issue of security.

What are the other key points that came out from this survey?

Through the ‘2011 Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey’, Symantec examined how organizations plan to move business-critical initiatives to virtual and hybrid cloud computing environments. The survey highlighted topics including server, client, and storage virtualization, storage-as-a-service, and hybrid/private cloud technologies; and the results uncover disparities between expectations and reality as enterprises deploy these solutions. CEOs and CFOs are concerned with moving business-critical applications into virtual or cloud environments due to challenges including reliability, security, availability and performance. 89 percent of organizations felt that security of business critical apps and data as the major challenge when implementing a private cloud. However 96 percent felt that by going to the cloud will make data centre more efficient, while 89 percent felt that overall agility of IT will improve. The survey shows that organizations are increasingly leveraging or planning to leverage virtualization for business-critical applications. Of enterprises who are implementing virtualization, 73 percent plan to virtualize database applications in the next 12 months. Forty percent plan to virtualize web applications, and 33 percent plan to virtualize email and calendar applications, and ERP applications. Also, organizations are more slowly leveraging hybrid/private cloud technologies for business-critical applications. An average of 35 percent of business-critical applications such as ERP, accounting, and CRM are in hybrid/private cloud environments. Respondents stated concerns over disaster recovery, meeting high-availability SLAs, authentication vulnerabilities, guaranteeing that data won’t leave the country, and application compatibility.

What is holding them back from going all out on the cloud?

Despite a rising interest in cloud-based services and the benefits they offer, organizations have been adopting a cautious approach towards deploying these services. However, with the large SME/SMB population and the emergence of many start-ups, the scope for growth is huge, provided the concerns over the adoption of these services addressed. While there is a certain level of awareness about what services and benefits the cloud has to offer, organizations are taking a cautious approach and are still experimenting and testing both public and private cloud services. CIOs too share a similar point of view. So even though there is a lot of uncertainty over the bottlenecks that an organization might face when deploying cloud services, there is an equal amount of interest and curiosity in the features and benefits that these services have to offer. With the overriding benefit of cost savings being largely responsible for companies looking at the cloud as a solution, vendors also want to make the most of this opportunity. One can hope to see extensive efforts by vendors to overcome these challenges and make cloud services amenable for adoption by organizations

What are the issues that a CIO will have to take into account when implementing cloud solutions?

Enterprise customers and CIOs feel that the idea of buying cloud services is very interesting, and they would like to get the basics on pricing and capabilities