IT's cloud resistance is starting to annoy businesses

Despite making strides, IT is still not widely embracing cloud computing, and businesspeople are becoming frustrated

The party line around enterprise cloud computing is that the cloud is always a welcome addition to IT technology portfolios. However, in the real world, that's not always the case. Indeed, IT is still skeptical about the value and use of cloud computing. As a result, the business side is becoming impatient over the speed and innovation of IT or, more accurately, the perceived lack thereof.

But don't take my word for it. A new study from Accenture and the London School of Economics and Political Science's Outsourcing Unit shows that IT people still see issues like security and privacy as a barrier to cloud adoption.

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Accenture and the LSE surveyed more than 1,035 business and IT executives and conducted more than 35 interviews with cloud providers, system integrators, and cloud service users. The key finding: There's a gap between business and IT. Businesspeople see the excitement and business benefits of cloud computing, so they're pushing for it. However, IT people see cloud computing as causing issues with security and lock-in, so they're pushing back.

Business is already frustrated about the speed with which IT delivers business solutions that aid the bottom line; IT has the reputation of being the Department of No when it comes to moving into new markets, expanding the enterprise through acquisition, or supporting other business events. Those who drive the business see cloud computing as a way to get around many of the reasons that IT says no. IT's response is to say no to the cloud.

Many of those who drive businesses may take out a credit card and hire a consultant or two to get their cloud-based systems up and running -- after all, the cloud doesn't need IT to be deployed. In many respects this is how SaaS grew initially, with IT not getting into the mix until it was already a huge movement. I suspect it will take similar rogue uses of PaaS and IaaS to drive IT to use the cloud, as happened with SaaS.

The core issue is one of control and fear of the unknown. Although you'd think that many in IT would be innovative and fast-moving, I've found that most are in fact very conservative, risk-averse tactical thinkers. Cloud computing means loss of control, potential for risk, and an aggressive strategic shift.

There does need to be a balance between leveraging new technology willy-nilly without thinking about issues like security and lock-in versus digging in your heels. I hope that both business and IT find the balance. Otherwise, at least a few enterprises will find that the benefits of cloud computing have passed them by.

This article, "IT's cloud resistance is starting to annoy businesses," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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