Cloud computing: 9 in 10 are positive on it, survey says

Cloud computing is taking off, but IT professionals are still on the fence about it when it comes down to the details. A new Rackspace survey has the goods.

Another day, another cloud computing survey that shows how keen business technology executives are on cloud computing. (Until they get a closer look, that is.)

A new national poll from San Antonio, Texas-based enterprise hosting company Rackspace shows that 91 percent of "IT decision-makers" see cloud computing as a positive thing.

But the devil's in the details. Quick stats:

  • Seventy-five percent of the group said they valued strong customer service and technical support over higher hosting prices. Twenty-five percent said the opposite. Interestingly, that ratio didn't change relative to the size of the organization.
  • Top concerns: The ability to add computing power; the ability to move data easily between cloud providers; the pitfalls of vendor lock-in.
  • Forty-three percent said they are aware of people in their organization using cloud computing services not provided by the IT department for work.
  • Thirty-eight percent said saving time was the main driver for this behavior.
  • Just one in three acknowledged that it was because the IT department didn't offer comparable services or employees simply didn't want to deal with the IT department.
  • Finally, 48 percent of the polled IT pros said yes, they would take a job with a new company that does not use cloud computing. (Twenty-eight percent said no way; 24 percent were undecided.) It's unclear whether this shows IT pros who seek a challenge, or who simply fail to see value in the cloud.

Nothing groundbreaking in these statistics for seasoned IT professionals, but it's interesting to see how on-the-fence everyone is about the technology.

"The world is in the midst of a tectonic shift toward cloud computing that is revolutionizing the way companies do business," Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier said in a statement. That may be true, but it's pretty clear that the shift is neither linear nor particularly brimming with confidence -- the reasons are many and not necessarily aligned with the greater business strategy. In other words, it's no silver bullet.

McLaughlin & Associates conducted the survey, which involved 500 IT pros who work for businesses or organizations that use cloud computing.