Washington DC Leads Cloud Trend Despite Security Concerns

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Citing a Microsoft sponsored survey, a TechJournal South article recently named Washington, DC as a leading trendsetter in cloud computing.

The study was conducted by 7th Sense research and of the major cities examined, DC was highlighted as being particularly receptive to the adoption of cloud computing services.

"The survey results revealed a number of reasons why D.C. ITDMs (IT decision makers) have so readily embraced web-based services. For one, supporting a mobile workforce is no longer a perk, but a necessity in a business climate defined by anytime, anywhere availability. Therefore, 81 percent of enterprise ITDMs in the Washington, D.C. area agree that IT must address the business need of enabling workers to work anywhere at any time," wrote Microsoft's Karen Del Vescovo.

According to Cloud Musings, the survey found the following:

  • 81 percent of ITDMs in Washington agree that IT must enable workers to work anywhere at any time
  • 46 percent of these respondents believe that cloud services can support and enable a remote workforce
  • 26 percent of ITDMs say the cloud enabled them to start a new line of business
  • 28 percent of D.C. enterprise organizations are hiring more staff with cloud computing experience
  • 14 percent are hiring more staff in general as a result of cloud services
  • 50 percent of D.C. ITDMs said they would be more likely to purchase a cloud solution if they could work with a certified partner
  • 32 percent of respondents hired vendors to assist in deploying cloud projects.

The federal government is leading the push for cloud adoption following the February release of the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy by Federal CIO Vivek Kundra.

"The Federal Government will create a transparent security environment between cloud providers and cloud consumers. The environment will move us to a level where the Federal Government’s understanding and ability to assess its security posture will be superior to what is provided within agencies today," the report stated.

Security issues remain a major obstacle to wider adoption of cloud-based services, especially in light of a recent data loss events such as the breach at Epsilon, a third-party email marketing and service provider.

Epsilon, which contracts with some of largest retail and financial companies in the nation, reported that their systems experienced an unauthorized access event that has exposed the names and email addresses of the customers the company's clients serve.

Security risks in the cloud have not prevented the federal government and a sizable portion of the private sector from moving to cloud-based strategies which are able to provide a wider range of services at a lower price point than developing systems to accomplish the same tasks individually.

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