End-users still hazy when it comes to the benefits of Cloud Computing

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According to a survey carried out by hosted IT service provider Rise, 91 per cent of businesses strongly feel more needs to be done to educate end-users about the business benefits of adopting a Cloud infrastructure.

The survey, conducted at a recent IT industry event, also identified that when it came to Cloud uptake the biggest concern for firms is where their data is being stored, with 64 per cent of surveyed participants identifying this as a key issue. It also indicated that fears around security and potential loss of data were a big deterrent for businesses not investing in a Cloud infrastructure.

The research also highlighted that with over half of respondents still unsure about the business benefits of Cloud Computing, IT vendors need to take on a bigger role when it comes to educating end-users.

According to Steve Holford, a director at Rise, one of the biggest barriers to Cloud uptake is lack of education. "For a lot of firms, right from SMEs to large enterprises, Cloud uptake still remains something to be approached with caution. Last year, the message we were hearing from customers was: What is Cloud Computing? This year has seen that move on people are aware of Cloud Computing but are unsure how this can be applied to their business. They understand that there are benefits to Cloud adoption but there is confusion around how this can be seen within their organisation."

The key findings include:
95 per cent of end-users saw data security as one of, if not the most important factor when it comes to dealing with clients

 86 per cent felt that data security and control were the main concerns around Cloud Computing

 Despite security concerns over Cloud Computing being addressed, over 35 per cent of end-users are still hesitant about investing in Cloud

 An incredible 91 per cent feel that the current level of education and information being provided around Cloud Computing is insufficient

 Of this 91 per cent, 60 per cent state it is the job of the IT vendor to provide better support, with 26 per cent seeing it as the role of the VARs and 14 per cent want greater input from the Government

Holford, concluded: "The results of the survey support the trends that we are seeing. Education is one of the biggest barriers to Cloud uptake, and getting end-users to understand the benefits of Cloud Computing, especially the benefits to them specifically, is key to driving demand. One of the key ways end-users can do this is by talking to IT service providers or resellers, who are fully equipped to inform, educate and update them on Cloud Computing, and discuss how Cloud can be applied to their business model. Security is another big concern for end-users and again, through speaking to resellers and IT vendors these fears can be addressed. The media also plays a key role we are starting to see more articles cutting through the hype of Cloud Computing, to focus on more meaningful articles that will benefit and educate end-users. At Rise we understand the concerns and are working with our partners to drive better understanding and awareness".

The survey, conducted in May 2011 at an IT industry event, surveyed a variety of resellers, distributors and channel partners from SMEs up to large enterprises regarding Cloud uptake.

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