Symantec: 2013 State of Cloud Survey (Global)

The people:

Mr. Dave Elliott, Global Product Marketing, Symantec Corporation,
Mr. Nigel Tan, Director, Systems Engineering, Symantec Corporation,
Ms. Yu Wui Wui, Marcom, Symantec Corporation,

Kuala Lumpur, Mar 5, 2013 - According to Symantec, 99% of organizations in Malaysia are at least discussing cloud, up to 70% about a year ago.

“A majority of businesses in Malaysia are at least discussing cloud as the benefits in improving agility and reducing costs are clear. However, in a rush to implement cloud, there are a host of hidden costs unwary organizations may face. The hidden costs of cloud implementation can negate the benefits if not properly contained,” said Nigel Tan, director of Systems Engineering at Symantec Malaysia.

Dave Elliott, Global Product Marketing, Nigel Tan, Director, Systems Engineering, Symantec Corporation

Symantec opines that there are essentially 3 adoption approaches for safe cloud. Each approach is characterized by distinct objective for cloud adoption.
  • Consume cloud services – make use of available hosted cloud services to simplify IT
  • Extend IT into the cloud – leverage on cloud computing resources by integrating self-managed non-cloud services with public hosted cloud services
  • Build cloud services – build own cloud infrastructures

End users must be set clear vision for cloud adoption in order to fully reap the benefits of cloud computing adoption. Failure to do so may result in deviation of technology and business objectives as well as the inevitability of incurring extra costs.

To facilitate discussion further, Symantec took initiative to perform a global survey across 29 countries covering 3,236 global organizations to investigate hidden costs of cloud computing.

The survey found many insightful indications pertaining to these hidden costs. Amongst them, the key finding is that as many as 95% of adoptions have witnessed rogue cloud issues over a period of 12 months.

Rogue cloud is referring to organizations’ business units of all sizes such as a department or project team proceed to leverage on public hosted cloud services such as emails and cloud storage as resources for daily operations without formal approval from enterprise IT per se. This gives rise to a state known as shadow IT adoption. It can also be associated as consumerisation of IT trend – consumers leverage on consumer-level computing resources to power business operations within an enterprise IT context.

Rogue cloud issues can either be related to security, disaster recovery, data protection and etc.

Other key findings:
  • 83% have experienced a recovery failure in the cloud.
  • A big wastage of only 17% of cloud storage is actively being utilized globally.
  • As high as 71% of cloud computing platforms are attempting to prove compliance with requirements.
  • 55% of information archived in the cloud are not properly indexed and hence not searchable.

In retrospect to all these hidden costs of cloud computing adoption, Symantec provides the following recommendations for mitigation:
  • Focus on policies on information and people, not technologies or platforms
  • Educate, monitor and enforce policies
  • Embrace tools that are platform agnostic
  • Deduplicate data in the cloud

In conclusion, I like to borrow Symantec’s cloud vision that cloud computing platform should inherit the following characteristics:
  • High Availability
  • Secure
  • Recoverable
  • Compliant
  • Agile
  • Affordable

“Wherever companies go with clouds, we will provide the protection and control they need across public and private cloud environments. Symantec’s vision is for safe, agile and efficient clouds. In 5 years, companies will operation in a converged IT world of cloud, virtualization and mobile computing where clouds are safe. IT organizations will have better visibility, control and compliance across their private and public clouds,” said Dave Elliott.

Dave Elliot is responsible for Global Cloud Marketing at Symantec. In this role, he drives market strategy for security and availability solutions from Symantec designed to help companies that build or use cloud services. Mr. Elliot was an early advocate of cloud computing while at Sun Microsystems in the 1990s.

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