Companies Recognize Importance of Cloud, But Minority Act

Symantec ‘s cloud survey was conducted by Applied Research and polled 1,780 globally with at least 1,000 employees.

Some interesting points about cloud computing were made in Symantec’s recent 2010 State of the Data Center survey. Basically, the report offers a lot of statistics that say companies think cloud computing is an important priority but that actual deployments and activity remain pretty low.

For example, more than half surveyed said cloud computing was an important priority for this year, according to a report I read about the survey.  Among them, 57% said private cloud computing is either somewhat or absolutely important; 54% had the same assessment about hybrid cloud computing; and 53% said the same about public cloud computing.

But who’s actually got some form of cloud solution working for them? Only about 20%, apparently – using it as a cost-containment strategy. Of those, just under one-quarter used private cloud computing last year to cut or tighten costs, while 22% relied on a hybrid cloud solution and only one in five used public cloud computing.

In the story that I read, optimism remains high for the growth of the Cloud in 2010, though.

The CTO of a data center consulting and solutions provider that was interviewed said “the main priority for most companies in 2010 is to reduce costs in the data center, an area where cloud computing can help.” But he said his firm has a lot of discussions with customers around cloud computing, but said that it’s still a relatively small part of the company’s overall business. Yet he expects activity to grow as the year progresses.

What’ll drive cloud growth is IT’s huge incentive to cut costs.

“To me, the real issue is dissatisfaction with IT being business as usual,” said the CTO. That’s what is “driving interest in the cloud. The current approach can’t be sustained into the future and has to change. I think 2010 will be a significant year moving forward.”

I’m curious about your cloud initiatives in 2009 and what they will be this year. Are you using a private, hybrid or public cloud solution? And why? Do you see it as a strategy to cut IT costs? What about cloud-based services, like transaction or cloud platform monitoring? If not, is it on your radar screen at all?