Infrastructure Services Users Worry Less About Security

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A recent Yankee Group survey about enterprise use of IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) offerings found that once companies start using such services, they worry less about security.

Companies that are considering using IaaS ranked virtualization security as the top barrier to adoption, Yankee found. But companies that have already started using IaaS ranked five other issues as more important than security. Those issues include regulatory compliance, challenges of migrating existing data and employee resistance.

"Some of that is companies not fully understanding what the cloud is, and once a business starts trying it out and using it, they see that security issues aren't as great as they're made out to be," said Sandra Palumbo, a Yankee Group research fellow and the report's author.

IaaS allows companies to pay a service provider for virtual servers and storage, based on usage, rather than investing in their own hardware and software. Palumbo found growing adoption of these services. Twenty-four percent of large enterprises with cloud experience that were surveyed are using IaaS, and an additional 37 percent expect to follow suit in the next two years, she said.

Still, 16 percent of enterprises surveyed had no plans to adopt IaaS, even though they are interested in or are already using other kinds of cloud services, she said.

The report also found enterprises are looking to telecommunications carriers for infrastructure as a service, even though many carriers don't offer such services or rebrand an offering from another provider.

Twenty-nine percent of the companies in the survey viewed system integrators as their most trusted suppliers of cloud computing. But among early adopters of IaaS, 33 percent said they turn to telecom companies first.

The fact that no one type of provider was dominant among the vendors enterprises want to buy IaaS services from shows the market is immature, Palumbo said. "The market is very new and offerings are still evolving," she said.

While telecom providers are well-positioned to snare IaaS market share, they've been slow to come out with many offerings beyond basic backup and storage solutions, she said. Operators tell Palumbo that they are interested in the market segment and may roll out services later this year or next, she said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is

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