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GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – What Are the Barriers to Cloud Computing? (Part 7)

August 22nd, 2011 by - 5,416 views

In April, we started a blog series called the “GoGrid Cloud Survey Report” where we highlighted findings from over 500 IT professionals, developers and CTOs. This series covered the industry’s perspective on everything from “What is Cloud Computing?” to “How do you use Cloud Computing?” and “What Operating Systems do you use in the Cloud?”. Today’s article marks the final installment to the GoGrid Cloud Survey Report, but we saved the most intriguing question for last…

What are the biggest barriers to deploying the cloud?

Yes, cloud computing has been one of the hottest technology trends in recent years, but it’s also been met with controversy. Many companies have yet to make the switch to cloud computing, and we wanted to know what our 500 IT professionals thought were the biggest barriers to deploying infrastructure in the cloud.

And can we really call “cloud computing” a trend? Analysts say that the addressable market for Infrastructure as a Service is estimated to be $1.8 billion. And this is part of a Global IT Market of $2.5 trillion. But barriers aside, cloud infrastructure has proven potential to drive companies to success via a re-optimization of resources and re-allocation of IT spend.

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Let’s look at each of these categories a bit more closely:

Other – The majority of our respondents suggested that the largest barrier to entry was due to technical understanding, lack of imminent need or other internal reasoning. However, given that every company’s infrastructure requirements are unique (a “cloud fingerprint”), concerns, obstacles and uncertainties vary from company to company, and this explains why the “other” category is larger than others.

Knowledge – Like all new technology, there is a learning curve and many businesses are apprehensive to switch to a technology they aren’t as familiar with. But as businesses move along the hype cycle to an established practice and as cloud computing becomes increasingly commoditized, end-users’ knowledge grows and the cloud becomes more accepted not as an alternative to traditional IT but rather a complete replacement.

Cost and or Time – Having your own hardware or a data center to run your own infrastructure costs a lot of time and money. Many companies don’t switch to cloud computing because the want a return on their current infrastructure investments, or because they are simply so entrenched with their traditional IT, that they simply cannot justify a migration. The cost/time barrier, however, should be evaluated closely as a cloud migration could actually be much more feasible, realistic and less expensive than companies actually realize.

Control – Many businesses feel that they have more control if they manage their own infrastructure as opposed to outsourcing it to a cloud computing vendor. With the cloud, you still do have the ability to manage your own infrastructure, but in a more abstracted way. However, if the desire is to manage the racking and stacking of servers, networking and cabling, power and fire suppression as well as security, you will have more “control” (and associated costs) if you do it yourself.

Security – This is one of the most contested criticisms of cloud computing. The reason is that if businesses are sharing resources on a multi-tenant environment they are more susceptible to security risks. The reality is, cloud computing is potentially more secure than doing it yourself. For more details on the security side of cloud computing, please download our Security white paper.

Cloud computing is definitely here to stay, and is the fastest growing sector of the IT industry. Having a clear understanding of what the biggest barriers are is vital for cloud vendors so we can help further educate and innovate to bring the most reliable, affordable and secure solutions to the IT industry.

What do you see as the biggest barrier of adoption of cloud computing?

For a full list of questions and to see all the results, please download the Cloud Survey Report.

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Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan, formerly the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid, is a recognized technology, social media, and cloud computing pundit and blogger who writes regularly about technology news and trends.

2 Responses to “GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – What Are the Barriers to Cloud Computing? (Part 7)”

  1. @VirtualTal says:

    I think a lot of it comes down to lack of understanding. Moving IT to the cloud is like telling someone to take the contents of their house and distribute them in random plots around the world. I think there exists a distinct lack of tools to ease the transition of IT into the cloud and make it easier to tear oneself away from the warm embrace of sneakernet.

  2. Brian Butte says:

    I agree with the results based on who you talked to. However if you ask consultants, experts and cloud firms you'll find the number one barrier is a lack of strategy, number two is a lack of knowledge, and number three is poor execution. There are myriad cloud failures out there which are giving cloud in many organizations a bad name. From implementations that don't work, to clouds sitting empty because there are no apps, to ones whose business case is shot because they're more expensive than traditional IT from five years ago. And what's making it worse is so many are focused on Private Cloud which is a trojan horse filled with failures. I'm not saying private cloud cannot work, but as most companies are implementing it they'd be better off staying with server consolidation.

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