Independent technology market research and consulting firm Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) studied more than 1,865 enterprises across the United States, the U.K., Germany, France, China, and India to understand the overall cloud market’s adoption rates, buying behaviors, and vendor landscape. The study resulted in three reports, “Private Cloud Customer Research,” “Hybrid Cloud Customer Research,” and “Cloud Professional Services Customer Research.”
Of the total survey population, TBR asked 1,305 cloud purchasers questions to dig into their preferences, planned purchases, and desired steps for vendors to make. Several of the trends highlighted in the TBR press release about the study and resulting reports are of interest to information governance (IG) professionals:
- Increased use of cloud professional services providers. The study showed that cloud end users are engaging professional services consultants at twice the rate of private and public cloud vendors. This is seen as an entry point for those entities trying to decide how to migrate to the cloud. Consultants provide guidance and education to prospective cloud customers.
- Shift to self-built private clouds. The report shows a shift in the type of private clouds adopted, with a 65% to 35% split of third-party-delivered private clouds to self-built private clouds. This is a shift from the 70% to 30% split in 2013, indicating that enterprises are becoming more comfortable with and educated about cloud implementation. Enterprises are growing their cloud-related skill sets.
- Security concerns continue. “Security remains the driving force behind cloud vendor adoption, while the emerging trends of hybrid IT and analytics, and the associated security complications they bring to the table, foreshadow steady and growing demand for cloud professional services over the next few years,” Cloud Practice Analyst Cassandra Mooshian said. Security concerns represent a risk to entities moving to the cloud, but they also represent an opportunity for cloud storage vendors to differentiate themselves.
- IT regains control over cloud buying. Mooshian also reported that cloud-buying behavior had become less collaborative over the previous six months and that IT is firmly in control.
This last bullet point should be of concern to IG professionals. If these decisions are less collaborative and more in the hands of IT, risks in areas beyond security will soon emerge. IG disciplines are by their very nature collaborative to ensure that all information risks can be identified and mitigated through proactive decision-making.
Most obvious is the risk of not meeting litigation obligations, such as producing information for litigation in restricted time frames. Closely associated with that is the risk of non-compliance with the organization’s legal and regulatory requirements if information is deleted or destroyed prematurely or if it is retained beyond the approved retention period.
While some may think it is only right and proper for IT to be firmly in control of cloud-buying decisions, IG professionals should step forward and bring the other information-related risks and considerations to light in these discussions.
ARMA International has several resources available to guide this collaborative approach to cloud implementation:
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing
- “Information Governance in the Cloud: Evolving Transfer and Interoperability Requirements” (web seminar)
- “Cloud Computing: Introducing the Vital Questions” (online course)
- “Cloud Implementation Checklist” Job Aid
- Guideline for Outsourcing Records Storage to the Cloud
- Hot Topic: “Making the Jump to the Cloud? How to Manage Information Governance Challenges” (free download)
These resources are available for purchase through the ARMA International online bookstore at www.arma.org/bookstore.