IT chiefs cool on cloud computing

A survey has found IT chiefs are not ready to move their critical IT systems over to the cloud-computing model

Despite the hype, it seems IT chiefs are still not ready to move their critical IT systems over to the cloud-computing model.

Cloud computing is often touted as cheaper than building and maintaining in-house IT systems, leading to speculation that it may be one of the technologies to benefit as chief information officers have to tighten their belts in the face of recession.

However, three-quarters of companies that use "proprietary systems" said the economic downturn had not "spurred their interest" in cloud models, according to a new survey, while the other quarter said the tough business environment had decreased their interest in cloud computing.

In the survey of 500 c-level executives and IT managers, sponsored by Microsoft-focused consultancy Avanade, 27 percent of companies that did use cloud computing said they were likely to increase use of it because of the downturn.

Another 60 percent said there had been no impact and 13 percent said they had reduced their use of cloud technologies because of the economic climate.

Concerns around cloud computing included security and loss of control — the most frequently mentioned worry in the survey, followed by the difficulty of integrating with existing internal systems, high ongoing costs and poor support.

The findings echo research by ZDNet UK's sister site, which revealed tech chiefs are putting a very low priority on cloud technologies in 2009.

However, chief information officers can see some potential benefits of cloud computing: those listed by respondents to the Avanade survey included lower upfront and ongoing costs.

Of those companies using cloud computing, most are not using it for business-critical systems. CRM is the most popular hosted application, according to the survey, followed by data storage, recruitment management, wikis, email and social media.

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