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10/4/2011
11:19 PM
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Survey: Organizations Are Cloud-Conflicted

Symantec survey finds less than 20 percent of organizations worldwide have fully implemented cloud services

A new global survey of organizations worldwide found that businesses are conflicted when it comes to cloud security: Beefing up security is the main goal for those going to the cloud, but most don't think it will actually do so.

Say what?

David Elliott, senior product marketing manager for the global cloud marketing team at Symantec, which conducted the telephone survey of 5,800 organizations in 28 different countries, says the apparent discrepancy in the responses was "a little bit of a surprise."

Some 87 percent say moving to the cloud won't affect or improve their security posture even though it's their No. 1 goal for doing it, Elliott says. "I think they are just concerned and don't know where to start. We think it's even more interesting that they consider it a top goal. They are conflicted."

A big part of the problem is experience with cloud technology. About half say their IT staff is "less than somewhat prepared" for the move to the cloud, and fewer than one in four IT staffers has experience in it. Those who have deployed cloud services relied heavily on third-party help, too: Close to 80 percent say they leaned heavily on the expertise of systems integrators, consultants, VARs, or professional services organizations.

"Half are also growing their IT staff for the cloud," Elliott says.

But while up to 81 percent are discussing cloud adoption, only 11 to 19 percent have fully implemented it. Some 19 percent have software-as-a-service; 17 percent, private infrastructure or platform-as-a-service; 17 percent, public infrastructure-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service; and 11 percent, hybrid infrastructure- or platform-as-a-service.

There's also a disconnect between their expectations and reality: Eighty-eight percent expected their cloud services to enhance their security, but only about 50 percent say it actually did.

A full copy of Symantec's new "State of the Cloud Survey" is available here (PDF) for download.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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