February 11, 2010 - Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of polled IT decision-makers were not able to define cloud computing, and others defined it as software as a service, a hosted or managed service or a form of outsourcing in a recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey, a market research and consulting firm.

“That’s not too surprising,” says Don Ryan, Managing Director of CMB’s Technology practice. “In any new market, 25-30 percent of decision-makers are still unclear about the benefits, applications and uses for new technologies.”

Approximately two-thirds of all organizations report already using cloud computing in some capacity. “There are two big benefits,” says Ryan, “to increase agility while at the same time lowering overall costs.” According to the study, storage resources, corporate email/calendaring and databases are the most common workloads for which enterprises are currently using cloud computing architectures.

“Data security and compliance are the two things holding cloud back,” says Ryan. A full 25 percent of respondents noted that cloud computing does not offer a secure environment in which to deploy the type of applications that their companies need.

The primary future use of cloud as noted by roughly one-third of the poll participants is allowing workloads to move with mobile employees so that they can do their work regardless of physical location. Supporting personal productivity applications that are mobility focused is a path for cloud computing vendors to gain momentum in the early stages of this market, according to CMB.

“Companies are looking to traditional companies like Microsoft and Accenture and IBM but also looking to nontraditional providers like Google. It’s an open field,” Ryan says.

The full findings from this report on cloud computing are available at the CMB Web site.

Read Joe McKendrick’s recent take, What is Cloud Computing Anyway?

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