It’s been a long time coming, but a new survey suggests resistance to cloud computing has now all but fallen.

A survey of 1,554 IT professionals and C-level executives conducted by EvolveIP, a provider of cloud services, finds that 92 percent say they view cloud computing is the future model of IT and that 91.5 percent of respondents have deployed some set of services in the cloud. Interestingly, even though nine out of ten say they view cloud computing as the future of IT, only 74 percent of the respondents described themselves as “true believers.”

Deployment of cloud services

While the shift to the cloud creates some opportunities for managed services providers, the types of cloud services being deployed are uneven at best.

For example, data protection is clearly moving to the cloud. A full 91 percent said the cloud provides a superior approach to data protection when dealing with environmental issues, and 84 percent said the same about dealing with hardware failures. A total of 69 percent preferred cloud data protection for recovering from malicious attacks.

But, IT professionals appear to be less further along in other areas. Only 30 percent said they are evaluating a phone system based in the cloud, and three-quarters of them said they will in the next two years.

Microsoft Office 365 adoption is slightly higher. A total of 40 percent said they would be evaluating or deploying the Microsoft suite of cloud applications. Among those respondents, 70 percent said they expect to deploy Microsoft Office 365 in the next year. 

In general, IT security remains the biggest cloud concern. Just under half (47 percent) say they are concerned about cloud security. But this number also represents an all-time low compared to previous years.

In the meantime, compliance is a larger challenge for three-quarters of respondents (73 percent). PCI (39 percent), HIPAA (37 percent), and SOX (19 percent) ranked as the top three mandates that need to be met.

Most importantly from an MSP perspective, almost half of respondents (46 percent) report that budgets for cloud services have increased year over year.

Well over half of respondents (57 percent) also say they would prefer having a single provider for their cloud services. How realistic that aspiration is remains to be seen. The leading cloud service providers are racking up new customers at an accelerated rate, and many organizations are already employing multiple cloud services from different vendors. In fact, the survey makes it clear that resistance to cloud computing has proven futile.

MSPs need to find their focus

When it comes to cloud computing, MSPs need to pick their spots. Organizations that are only interested in consuming infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings are not likely to generate enough profits for an MSP. It’s only when cloud applications start being deployed in a production environment that demand for higher-margin managed services starts to escalate.

Ultimately, each MSP needs to find their own path to the cloud. But, given all the interest in and concern about data protection and IT security, those are two obvious areas for MSPs to focus their efforts.

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Photo:  chaiyapruek youprasert / Shutterstock.

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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