Mission-Critical Fears of the Cloud

Michael Vizard

While just about everybody is using or investigating using some form of cloud computing, the real question is when will mission-critical applications find their way to the cloud.

An online survey of 120 respondents conducted by Unisys found that only about 15 percent said they plan to move core production workloads into the cloud. That might sound like a small percentage, but Colin Lacey, vice president of solutions and services for Unisys, says this is actually a pretty significant percentage given the conservative nature of most enterprise IT organizations. In fact, a separate survey recently found that almost one-third of Java developers in the enterprise are considering deploying applications in the cloud.

Lacey says the biggest issues that IT organizations have with cloud computing come down to the security of both the platform and the networks that connect to it; the performance of the applications, and compliance issues related to chain of custody of the sensitive data. Those data issues are especially apparent in yet another cloud computing survey that found that 38 percent of IT professionals involved in auditing thought that the risks associated with cloud computing outweighed the benefits.

These issues, said Lacey, can all be addressed provided customers select an enterprise-grade cloud computing platform. But in the meantime, more customers are interested in the cloud for applications not considered mission critical. For instance, the Unisys survey found that 46 percent would do application testing in the cloud, while 22 percent said they would rely on the cloud for backup and recovery.

In some form or another, cloud computing will play a bigger role in the enterprise. The issue for most IT organizations is to what degree that will happen.

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