IT pros will take a harder look at cloud computing in 2012

IT pros always talk the talk when it comes to investing in cloud. Our annual survey suggests they're still not be ready to walk the walk in 2012.

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While interest continues to grow in cloud technologies among IT organizations, actual cloud implementations likely will continue to slowly progress again this year, according to a new study.

TechTarget's 2012 IT Priorities Survey found that a growing number of enterprises plan to increase their expenditures for cloud services over the next year. However, while some 55.5% rated the importance of their cloud projects as medium, only 26.4% of respondents viewed cloud computing initiatives with high importance within their companies.

“We’ve done enough investing in infrastructure-level products and virtualization, along with exploring options for cloud strategies,” said Len Barney, a purchasing agent with a large transportation company in Jacksonville, Fla. “Next year, we’ll move forward with implementing our first significant cloud, which will be a hybrid [cloud model]. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re there now.”

It’s just a matter of time before we roll out [private cloud], but whether we do it in 2012 depends on which way the economic winds blow.

Ned Johnson, IT manager with a Houston-based trucking company

Nearly 27% of the respondents said implementing a private cloud in 2012 is a high priority; 56.7% rated it as a medium-level priority. An additional 16.3% of respondents said implementing a private cloud was a low priority in 2012. Respondents in the medium priority crowd said the move to private cloud will hinge largely on the state of the economy.

“It’s just a matter of time before we roll out [private cloud],” said Ned Johnson, an IT manager with a Houston-based trucking company.  “But whether we do it in 2012 depends on which way the economic winds blow. If they don’t blow in our favor, there are lots of other investments we can make to maintain existing systems and infrastructure.”

Simultaneously, most IT budgets are either growing (41.8%) or holding steady (25.2%), showed survey results, with 20% seeing a budget decrease.

There’s quite a bit we need to invest in before we get around to spending on things like the design of private clouds. More urgently for us [in 2012] is investing more in storage and security services. 

Eugene Lee, senior systems administrator with a large bank in Charlotte, N.C.

The type of cloud service counts in 2012
The most commonly cited external cloud service that IT departments will use in 2012 is Software as a Service (55.5%), with Storage as a Service placing second at 35%. Private cloud design and deployment ranked further down on the list at 15.3%, which was no surprise to some IT pros.

“There’s quite a bit we need to invest in before we get around to spending on things like the design of private clouds,” said Eugene Lee, senior systems administrator with a large bank in Charlotte, N.C. “More urgently for us [in 2012] is investing more in storage and security services. Then we can afford to focus on cloud design.”

This corresponds to last year's survey results, when 22% planned cloud storage initiatives. Further, respondents said that, by the end of 2012, approximately 20% of their data will be stored in the cloud.

The majority of respondents are being less aggressive when it comes to expanding their storage capacity in the cloud. Only 10.8% said they plan to have more than 60% of their storage capacity in the cloud in 2012.

The 2012 TechTarget survey polled more than 2,600 IT professionals and business analysts in a mix of job positions, from IT staffers, engineers and programmers to IT directors, managers and architects as well as CIOs and CTOs.

Ed Scannell is Executive Editor for TechTarget’s Data Center and Virtualization group. Contact him at escannel@techtarget.com.

Stuart J. Johnston is Senior News Writer for SearchCloudComputing.com. Contact him at sjohnston@techtarget.com.

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