Survey: IT not ready for cloud storage

Despite all the marketing buzz, most businesses aren’t ready to store their data in the cloud. Their main concern: security.

Vendors have promoted cloud storage as a way for IT departments to keep storage costs down during rough times. Surveys estimate storage needs are growing by about 30% to 40% each year, while budgets are staying flat.

But just 3% of companies have implemented cloud storage, according to a recent survey by Forrester. And most companies have no plans to start.

Forrester polled 1,272 IT decision makers at small- to mid-sized businesses. When asked about their plans for cloud computing:

  • 43% said they aren’t interested in cloud storage
  • another 43% said they’re interested, but have no plans to adopt
  • 3% plan to adopt cloud storage this year
  • 5% plan to do so a year from now or later
  • 3% have already implemented cloud storage, and
  • 1% are expanding an existing implementation.

The biggest reason for the reluctance: security and privacy concerns, according to 51% of IT execs. Businesses don’t want important data on another company’s servers.

There are also worries that information will be lost. In 2008 and 2009, two online storage providers, The Linkup and Carbonite,  made the news when they lost data and couldn’t recover it for some customers.

Does this mean businesses will continue to shy away from cloud computing? Not necessarily, say most experts, as cloud vendors are getting better and IT’s needs are increasing.

To ensure security when putting data in the cloud, Gartner recommends businesses:

  1. Evaluate the vendor’s security practices
  2. Make sure your contract demands regular security checks and immediate notification of any security issues
  3. Find out how the vendor protects against insider theft (for example, review employee background check policies), and
  4. Know what other businesses use the same vendor — they may bring added risk to the network.

Has your organization considered moving to cloud storage? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • Nick Yeates

    This research is telling, yet it leaves out other cloud aspects. Virtual computing such as vmware and amazon cloud services and private internal clouds are totally different areas from storage. These will all grow and you would likely see vastly different stats on each. I beleive gartner predicts that something like 50% of businesses will have zero in house IT assets by 2012.