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Survey Targets Different Side of Cloud Computing, Reveals Interesting Insights

  By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

While 2012 was coming to a close (and much of the world was anxiously awaiting December to meet their Mayan-predicted demise), Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP was staging a survey of a group of risk management and in-house counsel personnel to see what their position was on cloud computing. The results of the survey suggested that, while there were plenty of benefits to be associated with cloud computing, there were also plenty of risks involved that needed consideration.

The survey was quite different from most cloud computing surveys, as it passed up business executives – even IT professionals! – and instead focused on the risk management side of the equation. Mechanically speaking, the survey was broken down into four components: extent of knowledge, perception of risks, perception of benefits, and actual experience.

This ultimately allowed them to get a better handle on the total perspective in the field, and what they found was telling.

Most respondents understood cloud computing on a level between "basic" and "good.” Only 25 percent of responses had between "poor" and "no" understanding, which is quite commensurate with other surveys done in this field.

Meanwhile, when it came to risks, there were plenty. For example, a whopping 64 percent cited compatibility with current agreements with other products. Additionally, 26 percent ranked the potential legal impact as "very high,” which makes it a significant worry across much of the field. 64 percent also had a "high to very high level of concern" with the inability to customize standard offerings commonly to make them fit with currently-held legal agreements elsewhere in the company.

The second greatest concern was getting back information in a timely fashion, as it relates to legal matters; however, the greatest concern was perhaps the strangest: a lack of understanding of risks and benefits. Basically, for risk management and in-house counsel, they don't know what the biggest problem is, and that has them the most concerned. Concerns of privacy and security, on the other hand, commonly took a back seat and ranked lowest.

As for benefits, the clear winner at 40 percent was improved performance. Another 40 percent finish came in for standardization benefits, while a 32 percent finish came in for utility pricing. Down toward the bottom of the list, oddly, were reduced costs, device independence, scalability and convenience, which could have easily been expected to hit much higher on the list overall.

While there were certainly plenty of risks cited in the survey, one of the clearest conclusions reached was that while the number of those who had adopted cloud over those who hadn't was fairly evenly split. Fifty three percent had while 43 percent hadn't, and those who had adopted cloud found it somewhere between good and excellent in most cases. However, a major issue was found in negotiating cloud agreements with the vendor. No one called the experience excellent, and while 50 percent called it good, fully 47 percent called it either poor or very poor.

Overall, while even the non-technical side of the business can see a clear advantage, there are plenty of risks and legal landmines waiting in the wings. Cloud computing is a powerful tool, but one that must be carefully implemented for the best results.

By siding with the right provider, you can fully enjoy the benefits of the cloud while dodging these commonly seen bullets. For example, leading cloud hosting provider Datapipe (News - Alert) offers convenient options for its users regarding agreements to offer high compatibility. Furthermore, Datapipe addresses concerns over performance and security with its signature Cloud Elastic Cloud solution, which serves as a globally available, high-performance managed cloud computing platform designed specifically to meet enterprise requirements for governance, usability and compliance.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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