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Study: Despite Rising Adoption, Cloud Still Poses Obstacles

Over 90 percent of businesses have, at some level, adopted cloud computing practices, according to a recent study by CompTIA Inc.

The cloud "has quickly become an essential ingredient of modern IT," CompTIA said in its "5th Annual Trends in Cloud Computing" report. The survey, which spanned the period of June to July 2014, also found that moving applications, infrastructure and other resources to the cloud isn't nearly as easy as some vendors may claim in their marketing materials.

"This may come as a surprise to some firms, as they may hold an expectation that the initial migration and integration posed the largest obstacles to smooth cloud operations," said Seth Robinson, CompTIA's senior director for technology analysis, in a press release.

The key findings in this area showed that among companies in the early stages of cloud conversions, 28 percent said it required "significant" effort; that figure jumped to 63 percent among those who have completed a cloud transformation.

In fact, as businesses get more involved in moving operations to the cloud, the hurt gets worse. For companies going from experimental use of the cloud to non-critical use, 73 percent reported low or moderate effort is needed. Going the next step -- from non-critical use to full production -- the number drops to 66 percent. And going from full production to the "Transformed IT" stage, just 37 percent found it relatively easy.

Those growing pains shouldn't scare off companies, however; the study reported that the move to the cloud is reducing costs (although CompTIA didn't quantify these cost savings).

Perhaps not surprisingly, larger companies, with their bigger IT staffs and deeper pockets, have made the most headway to the "Transformed IT" level, which CompTIA described as companies "not simply moving existing systems or applications into the cloud; they're changing the way they work in order to reap the full benefit." At this point, the report said, the cloud is no longer a distinct focus area, instead being fully integrated into IT operations and management.

Although larger companies are out in front, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are also diving in, albeit further behind. Those that have yet to start experimenting with the cloud cite the typical factor -- security -- as the major sticking point.

CompTIA, an organization representing IT companies, as well as offering IT certification, surveyed 400 IT and business professionals for its survey.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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