Adapting to the changing cloud

The swift migration to cloud computing and data recovery services shows no signs of slowing, with half of organizations reporting they expect to boost their cloud services budgets over the next 18 months, according to Sungard Availability Services and EMC.

The survey of 132 organizations found that driving the movement to the cloud are pressures to pare costs and “do more with less,” as well as the desire for employee mobility. In fact, the percentage of IT services provided by third parties – including outsourcers and cloud providers – is expected to climb 37 percent over the next three to five years. Respondents ranged from companies with less than 1,000 employees to those with more than 10,000.

Of those anticipating increasing their cloud service budgets:

  • 12 percent foresee a rise above 10 percent
  • 18 percent expect a six to 10 percent boost
  • 20 percent anticipate a one to five percent increase over the next 18 months
  • Two in five expect spending to remain the same
  • 10 percent foresee cloud service budgets decreasing. Average outlays are forecast to rise about three percent.

Among the more challenging elements of the cloud, security ranks atop the list of concerns:

  • 65 percent of respondents are worried about security
  • Security also stands atop the list of challenges holding organizations back from adopting cloud recovery services, with 63 percent expressing concern
  • Organizations also wonder whether they will realize a return on their cloud spending, with 38 percent believing it will prove a challenge to realize an ROI on cloud recovery services.

Not surprisingly, those already investing in cloud recovery services do not report security as a challenge. Regardless, organizations surveyed are moving quickly to cloud computing to gain the benefits of cloud services and data recovery services in the cloud.

Organizations anticipate benefiting from cloud computing in several ways:

  • 64 percent of respondents expect improved efficiency
  • 58 percent foresee increased flexibility from using cloud services
  • While improved customer satisfaction is considered less important as a benefit, with 39 percent listing it, it still ranks as the third most significant benefit
  • Other benefits cited include cloud recovery services, reduced downtime, improved reliability and enhanced productivity.

As for cloud recovery services, nearly half of organizations (46 percent) already invest in such services or plan to within the next one to two years, the survey revealed. Another 30 percent have such services on their radar. With speed of recovery listed as the top benefit of cloud recovery services, over six in ten respondents report four hours or less as the ideal recovery time goal.

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Adapting to the changing cloud