Private clouds hold a wide lead over public clouds among IT pros

The biggest roadblocks to cloud adoption by businesses are security and cost, according to a CDW poll

Public clouds have a way to go if they want to be the top choice of businesses looking to put resources in a shared, centralized computing environment, according to a poll of 1,200 IT professionals.

Just 7 percent of respondents say they'd most likely use public cloud services while 47 percent say they would make a private cloud their first pick, according to the CDW 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll.

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Overall, security concern was the major deterrent to adoption with 41 percent of respondents indicating it's a worry. But nearly as many, 40 percent, say cost is a concern as well. Coming in a distant third with 26 percent was privacy and compliance concerns.

TREND: Cloud-based security as a service: It's catching on and here's why

The cost worries are more pronounced among IT professionals that haven't actually tried cloud services yet, the poll finds. Asked whether cloud applications cost less than traditional applications, 36 percent say yes. But when those actually using at least some cloud applications were asked whether they were saving money by moving applications to the cloud, 84 percent say yes.

The poll was performed in March for CDW by O'Keefe & Co., and polled 1,200 IT professionals equally distributed among small, medium and large businesses; federal and state/local government; healthcare organizations; higher education; and K-12 school districts.

Cloud users project that in two years they could save 22 percent of their organizations' IT budgets using cloud resources and applications. That will grow to 31 percent in five years, the poll says. Currently, the number is 18 percent.

By contrast, IT pros who don't use any cloud resources project they will save 15 percent in two years and 23 percent in five years after they jump into using the cloud. Despite saying they were not yet implementing or maintaining cloud services, the non-user group nevertheless responded that it is currently spending 9 percent of its IT budget on cloud resources or applications.

Overall, based on cloud services and technology available now, all those polled say on average 42 percent of their IT services and applications theoretically could be run in the cloud.

Two-thirds of them say they aren't using cloud computing at all yet, equally split between learning about it and making firm plans to implement it. Just 8 percent say they aren't considering it at all.

Of the 320 respondents that actually use cloud computing in some way, 73 percent started by using a single cloud application. Ranked from one to six, the categories of applications most often placed in a cloud environment are: email, file storage, office productivity, Web conferencing, online learning and video conferencing.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

This story, "Private clouds hold a wide lead over public clouds among IT pros" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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