Cloud news roundup

Cloud security again dominates the cloud news cycle this week. We’ve reported in the past about government cloud adoption, but a new survey has some sobering numbers about those migrations. The survey found that only 20% of government IT executives are confident in their vendor’s security. But there is a bright spot—90% are taking steps to manage trust with their vendors. Given our survey results, other IT executives would do well to follow the government’s lead in this regard.

A flash poll from InformationWeek found that 40% of readers are less confident in storing photos and data in any cloud service. Yet only 12% of respondents said that they changed their personal practices or recommended some security tightening at work.

Finally, an insightful column on InfoWorld explores the hysteria surrounding the iCloud hack. Rather than blame “the cloud,” those worried about security should focus on their own and vendor’s practices.

Cloud news roundup

A study of M&A in the second quarter of 2014 found that cloud and smart mobility drove 42% of technology deals. Of the deals greater than $1 billion, fully three quarters targeted internet, cloud/SaaS companies, or Internet of Things firms.

As we’ve seen from our study, security concerns are top of mind for firms migrating to the cloud. To that end, worldwide spending on information security will top $71 billion this year, with data loss prevention experiencing the fastest growth over 2013’s spending.

Another recent study shows how cloud is set to transform small businesses. By 2020, the report says, 80% of small businesses in the US will have migrated to the cloud. That’s explosive growth—today, 37% of small businesses have migrated to the cloud.

Cloud News Roundup

CRM is continuing its march to the cloud. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2015, 50% of CRM tools will be hosted in the cloud. By 2025, that number will be 85%. The reasons for move to cloud-based CRM are twofold: flexibility and cost effectiveness.

There’s a lot of talk about the state of the cloud and where it’s going. But do we know where it came from? An article in Wired tries to get to the bottom of this question, digging up a 1994 video from AT&T as evidence that company invented the cloud in the early 90s.

Approaching a cloud services provider can be daunting. This list may help you have a productive conversation with a potential provider. Important questions to ask: what do you want to do with the cloud?; how much do you want to manage?; and what are you best at?  

Cloud news roundup

Dawn Leaf, Deputy CIO at the Labor Department, spoke about her agency’s  recent migration of email and human resource applications to the cloud at the FOSE government technology conference. Leaf said one of the most important aspects of any migration is oversight. “Delegation—and that’s what you’re doing; you’re delegating your authority of your IT services—is not the same as abdication,” she said.

Cloud is emerging as one of tech’s top moneymakers. A recent KPMG survey revealed that 46 percent of technology executives said their cloud revenues in 2013 were above expectations. Meanwhile, D&A (data and analytics) and the Internet of Things are rising fast as top drivers of growth. 

As cloud investment heats up, providers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. The big players are reducing prices; Google plans on lowering cloud service prices by 30 to 85 percent, an announcement that was quickly followed by Amazon and Microsoft announcing plans to slash their prices as well. Other companies are focusing on niche markets, tailoring their services for different industries, or focusing on private clouds. 

Cloud News Roundup

The SaaS model still dominates the cloud services market, but other models are beginning to experience rapid growth. Revenues from SaaS products are expected to reach $53 billion worldwide by 2018 and make up about 59% of the public cloud computing market.

The Wall Street Journal reports that cloud adoption is lower than expected—about 17.6% of companies with more than 1,000 employees use cloud email services. Healthcare, government, and financial services organizations are 40% less likely to adopt cloud-based email than all other organizations.

Even though the main barriers to cloud adoption are security concerns, a new study found that businesses are still storing vulnerable information unprotected in the cloud.When adopting the cloud, security responsibility falls on both sides.”It is really incumbent upon the user of the services as well as the provider of the services to join forces,” Larry Ponemon, the lead author of the study, said. “You can’t just rely on one side or the other.”

Cloud News Roundup

  • CMS put together a list of five key steps for migrating your company’s SharePoint content to the cloud. However, since SharePoint has limited migration tools, the task can be difficult. Some things to keep in mind: consider which cloud configuration is right for your business, establish a realistic timeline, identify what content is needed and what can be left behind, test the migration, and verify the results.
  • While the U.S. government is experiencing some hiccups in migrating to the cloud, the San Francisco city government will soon become the first major city to upgrade to a single cloud network. The city will be using Microsoft’s Office 365, which is compliant with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) guidelines, which unites police, safety, and health departments under one cloud. Microsoft also accommodated the city’s accelerated migration timeline,  simplifying the process and building specific paths to complete the migration.
  • The next wave of cloud migration is likely in human resources. Many companies still use decade-old HR systems and applications, are see an opportunity in switching to cloud-based human relationship management (HRM) software, rather than going through a lengthy and painful migration phase. The average timeframe for a switch to HRM software is about three months.