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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cloud computing still in infancy

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Cloud computing is in the same sort of infancy as email when it was first introduced, according to a new study from ISACA and the Cloud Security Service.  More than 250 participants took part in the survey from the two organizations, ranging from C level executives to end users, and from companies of all sizes.  Factors such as diversity and market size, the amount of innovation and the level of acceptance and integration were used to come to the conclusion that web hosting is still in its infancy.

There are four stages of development when it comes to cloud computing that have been defined by ISACA and the Cloud Security Service.  These are infancy (that there is potential for growth and innovation, but this has not yet been realised); growth (that innovation and widespread adoption has taken place and the technology is now well understood); maturity (that the primary players are now well established and use of the technology is more or less standard business practice); and decline (that the market has become oversaturated and there is now very little room for new products or companies).

The results of the survey showed that respondents had rated SaaS (Software as a Service) as having barely entered the growth phase but still ahead of both IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service), with the overall results showing that cloud computing is still very much in its infancy.  One of the main characteristics of this stage is the fact that it is very much the era of the early adopter, with the great majority of businesses being unwilling to change their ways for a technology they regard as being largely untested.  Of course, the cloud is just another method of thinking about the internet, so it is hardly really untested, yet most businesses see this is a very new way of thinking in regards to acquiring important IT services, meaning that it takes a bit of adjustment.  Perhaps the cloud just has a bit of a public relations problem.

There are a number of factors that are causing a lack of confidence when it comes to the cloud, according to the survey.  These factors include the likes of data privacy and security concerns, regulatory and compliance fears, and contract lock in and exit strategies.  The good news, however, is that the study is saying the cloud is likely to reach full maturity and acceptance within the next two to three years.

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