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Business Balking on Cloud Storage

by on March 4, 2010

Cloud_question While the cloud may have an irresistible attraction to some businesses for some purposes, storage doesn’t seem to be one of them—at least according to some recent findings from Forrester Research. In a report titled “Business Users Are Not Ready For Cloud Storage,” the firm disclosed that IT decision makers in North America and Europe just aren’t ready to trust the cloud with their data.

“Given that data storage capacities are growing at 30 percent to 40 percent per year but storage budgets are flat or growing minimally, IT professionals are eager to take advantage of the low cost per gigabyte offered by cloud providers,” the report’s executive summary noted.

“Storage vendors are eager to be the ones to provide storage-as-a-service or supply storage systems to the cloud providers,” the summary continued. “However, data from Forrester’s 2009 hardware survey shows that this is just talk, so far.”

Don’t look for companies to trust their data with services like Amazon S3, EMC Atmos, Nirvanix, The Planet or AT&T Synaptic Hosting any time soon, warned the report, penned by Forrester researcher Andrew Reichman with Stephenie Balaouras and Alex Crumb. “There is long-term potential for storage-as-a-service, but Forrester sees issues with guaranteed service levels, security, chain of custody, shared tenancy, and long-term pricing as significant barriers that still need to be addressed before it takes off in any meaningful way,” the summary said.

Not surprisingly, the top concerns of the techies polled for the report about cloud storage were privacy and security. No doubt the recent breach into Google’s computers by Chinese crackers threw gasoline on those burning concerns. Of the 2200 IT executives interviewed for the report, 49 percent of those from enterprises and 51 percent from small- and medium-sized businesses cited those concerns for not using the cloud.

Forrester also reported that cloud providers are getting some traction for their backup services among businesses, but even that has been minimal and slow to grow.

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