So Far, So Good With Cloud Computing, But Executives Are Still Nervous

So Far, So Good With Cloud Computing, But Executives Are Still Nervous


Lets face it, the cloud will never be risk-free, and there is no shortage of glitches that erupt in in the cloud computing space. Unfortunately, service outages, security flaws and performance issues come with the territory. Its also important to remember that outages, security flaws and performance issues are also part of on-premises systems as well.

For the most part, the consequences of cloud computing issues have not been catastrophic — though there have been plenty of relatively minor incidents. In a new survey of 232 executives, 67% reported have difficulties with their cloud efforts, ranging from outages to integration failures. However, only nine percent of this group say they experienced a cloud incident that resulted in significant damages. A majority, 55%, say damages were limited, and 34% consider rate them as “limited,” and 34%, sustained “medium” damages. While it’s significant that a total of 43% of this group consider themselves to have suffered medium to significant damages as a result of cloud issues, many of these mishaps are avoidable.

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The risks with cloud — and ways to address these risks — were explored in a new survey from Economist Intelligence Unit. The survey, underwritten by Hitachi Data Systems, found that the things that keep executives up at night include fear of the loss of customer data (46%), loss of revenue (40%), breach of customer privacy (36%), unexpected extra costs (32%), and failure to deliver expected ROI (17%).

Seventy percent of executives say their organizations manage private clouds, while 22% use public cloud services. Most of the cloud projects were developed to address the nitty-gritty stuff: higher availability (55%), cost control (53%), and employee efficiency (50%).

Of course, people in these organizations aren’t just sitting there, waiting for the next incident to happen. Executives report they are taking proactive measures to get more cloud-mindedness into their organizational psyche, including training  existing staff in relevant skills (48%), improving their vendor selection criteria (36%), and hiring more in-house cloud specialists (33%).

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Also, the report advises, give more weight to “factors beyond costs, such as cloud’s potential to improve business operations and boost employee efficiency.” Ultimately, the cloud has to not just meet existing business requirements, but to go above and beyond the needs of the enterprise.  The first mistake is going to cloud for cloud’s sake. The second mistake is to go to cloud simply to cut costs. Ultimately, success in the cloud is about expanding the horizons of the business, enabling it to do things and go places that were not possible before — such as creating digital products, rapidly launching new ventures, or tapping into big data analytics. The third mistake is not to act on these opportunities.

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