IT departments ‘still not convinced’ by the cloud

When it comes to cloud computing, a wide schism still exists between the IT and business communities, a study has found.

According to the first part of the ‘Cloud and the Future of Business; From Costs to Innovation’ report from Accenture and the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Outsourcing Unit, IT people still see issues such as security and privacy as a barrier to cloud adoption.

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“One of the very interesting findings was there was a clear gap between business people and IT people,” said Andrew Greenway, global cloud programme leader for Accenture.

“Business people said they didn’t see security and privacy as an issue around cloud. IT people conversely saw data privacy, lock-in and security as much more of a problem.

He added: “They also weren’t as convinced by the cloud as the business community, which has got increasingly frustrated with the speed of delivery of IT.”

Greenway said that it was the extent of the gap that was shocking, and that the gap needed to be narrowed. Otherwise, business people, armed with a credit card, can and will bypass IT to order the services they want.

“That’s going to shock the IT into delivering services with much more speed and agility,” he said.

More than 1,035 business and IT executives were surveyed for the report, and the researchers also conducted more than 35 interviews with key cloud providers, system integrators and cloud service users.

The report covers the trends in cloud computing that have been taking place over the last two years, and reinforces the view that cloud computing is going affect IT at a fundamental level.

“There is a need for IT to get with the programme and understand the world is going to be different and demand a much more transparent and agile method [of IT delivery] in the future.

“This is a major change in direction for IT that’s going to impact every organisation, public and private, and it could be a long journey,” said Greenway.

Organisations are going to have to adapt to the changes and learn how to manage the cloud services in a coherent manner, in way that delivers IT to the business in a consistent and flexible way.

Managing data in multiple systems from different cloud service providers and maintaining governance and assurance of it, for instance, may be challenging.

Like Forrester and its ‘empowered IT‘ agenda, Accenture believes that a new type of IT department will evolve, to become the “IT department 2.0”.

“You’re going to have business-oriented [IT] people able to deliver services within hours rather than years, and managing many services. The skills they learned in doing outsourcing will be very applicable to cloud service management.

“In many ways, cloud is a logical extension of outsourcing,” said Greenway.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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