UK businesses storm ahead with virtualization but, concerns from CEOs and CISOs hinder cloud adoption

Symantec survey reveals gap between IT professionals and boardroom when it comes to moving mission critical applications to the ‘cloud’.
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Symantec survey reveals gap between IT professionals and boardroom when it comes to moving mission critical applications to the ‘cloud’.

Symantec survey reveals gap between IT professionals and boardroom when it comes to moving mission critical applications to the ‘cloud’.

Symantec has announced the findings of its 2011 Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey which examined how organisations plan to move business-critical initiatives to virtual and hybrid cloud computing environments. The survey reveals that virtualization, particularly for servers and storage, has become widespread within UK businesses but there is considerable resistance amongst ‘C’ level decision makers –particularly regarding security concerns – over moving business critical applications to the cloud.

Over half of business have either adopted or are in the process of adopting sever and storage virtualization (51 and 53 per cent respectively). Feedback from businesses that have made the change points to server virtualization as having been largely successful with results exceeding expectation by two per cent. Respondents cited benefits including improvements to agility, scability and disaster recovery.

The survey points to a disconnect between IT staff and their bosses particularly at CEO, CFO and CISO level when it comes to moving business critical applications such as database and ERP applications to virtual or hybrid / private cloud environments. At CEO level more than half (53 per cent) are ‘less than somewhat open’ to the concept of moving to a private cloud with this figure falling slightly at CIO and CISO level (43 per cent and 35 per cent respectively). This compares to a level of 72 per cent favourability at IT manager level.

The main concerns cited by CEOs centred on security (77 per cent), reliability (71 per cent) and performance (71 per cent). However the survey finds that in practice it could be a case that better communication between IT staff and ‘C’ level decision makers could assuage some of these issues. For example more than two thirds of IT managers reported that goals related to server virtualization performance were achieved.

“Cloud computing represents a major shift within IT – changing from a traditional IT delivery to a service-provider model. Moving to the cloud is a complex evolution for many companies and it’s essential that IT and executives are aligned on initiatives,” said John Magee, vice president of virtualization and cloud solutions, Symantec. “Virtualization is an enabler for private and hybrid clouds and our survey shows that planning a seamless move is critical to achieving all the simplicity, affordability and efficiency that these environments have to offer.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Concerns over disaster recovery (73 per cent), performance degradation (73 per cent), and ‘inability to guarantee data won’t leave the country’ (69 per cent) top the list of challenges associated with moving mission-critical applications to a hybrid / private cloud.
  • Nearly half of respondents 48 per cent said storage costs somewhat or significantly increased with server virtualization. Of those in the process of virtualizing storage, the top three reasons for deployment include reducing operating expenses 80 per cent), improving storage performance 77 per cent and improving storage utilisation ratios 77 per cent.
  • Software licensing issues (69 per cent) and concerns over compliance (62 per cent) are cited as the biggest challenges to server virtualization.

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