Almost all of IT budgets will soon be dedicated to cloud, Intel study finds

Intel says 80% of IT budgets are about to be aimed at cloud. One niggle, though, is a question over security.

Almost all of IT budgets will soon be dedicated to cloud

The cloud is exploding globally, with most of IT spending soon to be allocated to cloud, according to a new Intel report.

The technology company predicts that virtually all IT spending (80 percent) will be on cloud in the next 16 months. One reason is that ever-increasing digital activities “are leveraging cloud computing in some way,” the company said in its press release.

And it’s happening quickly, according to the survey of 1,200 IT executives in eight countries, which was conducted by market research provider Vanson Bourne on behalf of Intel.

Some countries’ enterprises will hit the 80 percent mark even faster than the average of 16 months. Australia, for example, is projected to get to that point in just 11 months. The U.S. is expected to hit the mark 14 months from now.

“This is a new era for cloud providers,” said Raj Samani, chief technology officer, Intel Security EMEA, in the release. “We are at the tipping point of investment and adoption.”

Cloud security remains a concern

Swimmingly then for cloud, right? It’s taking over the world. Well, maybe, but there’s a potential hiccup. And that’s security, according to some of the survey respondents.

Although three-quarters (77 percent) of the respondents said they trust the cloud more than they did a year ago, many (20 percent) are worried about software as a service (SaaS)-oriented data security incidents occurring on their watch.

“Data breaches were a top concern for IaaS and private clouds,” too, the study (PDF) found.

For definition, SaaS is software and services over the Internet, and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is access to computing resources over the internet.

A third kind of cloud computing, platform as a service (PaaS), encompasses environments for development over the internet. Security as a service (SECaaS) is a fourth.

Intel’s survey revealed trends related to those principal types of cloud services. It found most organizations (81 percent) were looking at spending on IaaS, about the same number (79 percent) want to spend on SECaaS, and PaaS and SaaS round out the pack at 69 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Compliance issues were a concern with cloud for most of the IT executives (72 percent). Many weren’t up on whether their organizations did indeed store sensitive information in the cloud, with a significant 14 percent being oblivious. They didn’t know.

While the IT executives perceived potential security issues, they had little confidence in their bosses completely understanding the “security implications of the cloud,” Intel discovered.

“Many respondents feel there is still a need for more education and increased awareness and understanding of risks associated with storing sensitive data in the cloud,” Intel said.

Intel, through its brands Intel Security and McAfee, is a cloud security services vendor. In addition, Intel Security is a corporate member of The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), an organization that provides “security assurance within cloud computing and provides education,” according to the CSA website.

One big problem for the aforementioned security-worriers mentioned in the release is shadow IT. That’s where employees and departments build out their own IT systems or use tools without official IT approval.

Shadow IT has a negative impact on their ability to keep cloud services secure,” Intel said.

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