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SADA Systems: Enterprises remain split on cloud data security

About half of enterprise IT professionals think cloud offers better security than their own data centers, according to a SADA Systems report; other IT channel news from the week.

A bit more than half of IT managers said the cloud offers better security than their own data centers, according to a SADA Systems study.

SADA Systems, a managed services provider (MSP) and cloud consultant based in Los Angeles, surveyed more than 200 enterprise IT professionals regarding their use of cloud services. Fifty-one percent of the respondents said data security is better in the cloud, while 58% cited the cloud as "the most secure, flexible and cost-effective solution for their organizations," according to SADA Systems.

Other surveys have also detected increased comfort among enterprises with cloud security. Earlier this year, IT professionals responding to a Clutch survey ranked increased efficiency and security as the top two benefits of cloud computing. Clutch is a business-to-business market researcher based in Washington, D.C.

Tony Safoian, president and CEO at SADA Systems, noted the reversal of enterprise sentiments since the cloud's early days when security was a significant adoption obstacle.

"I think it was one of the barriers," Safoian said of security.

At one time, he said, the company had to prove to customers that the cloud was cost effective, not a passing fad and secure. "If you look at the conversation today, they [IT and line-of-business managers] don't talk about those things."

Instead, the cloud discussions now revolve around what workloads will move to the cloud, on which platforms will they reside and who will help get them there, Safoian noted. As for the latter issue, 43% of the IT managers SADA Systems surveyed said they have and will continue to use third-party consultants to manage public cloud infrastructure.

In addition, enterprises are asking about what business advantages they can obtain in moving to the cloud, Safoian added.

In other SADA Systems findings, 50% of survey respondents said they are likely to increase public cloud use by at least 25% over the next two to three years; 25% of the IT professionals polled said they would increase their public cloud use by 50% during the same time span. In addition, 84% of respondents said they are using public cloud infrastructure today, and 45% of the companies surveyed said their cloud migrations took three to six months. Twenty-three percent said the migration took less than three months.

Safoian said, based on his experience, enterprises tend to migrate email to the cloud as their first workload. But the more exciting path for SADA Systems, he added, is the opportunity to deploy cloud platforms for big data and internet of things applications that help enterprises tackle, for example, manufacturing or distribution challenges at scale.

"We are just scratching the surface of that work," he said.

After Brexit: Spiceworks gauges the IT landscape

A portion of the IT professionals in the United Kingdom and U.S. believe Brexit, the U.K.'s plan to leave the European Union, will delay or decrease spending among IT departments.

Spiceworks, a professional network for IT based in Austin, Texas, released survey results that found 36% of U.K. professionals expect IT investment delays or declines because of Brexit. U.K. enterprises may be hesitant to spend because of an "increase in IT costs due to an unfavorable exchange rate," according to Spiceworks.

In the U.S., 15% of the respondents expected IT spending delays or decreases due to Brexit. Spiceworks survey was based on feedback from 160 respondents.

In other findings:

  • Among U.K. organizations, 51% said they are concerned about Brexit's effect on how and where their data is stored in the cloud (21% of U.S. organizations expressed that concern).
  • More than a third (36%) of U.K. organizations said they will be more inclined to store their data in data centers based in the U.K. after Brexit.
  • Sixteen percent of organizations in the U.K. said they will be less inclined to use cloud services, in general.
  • Preparations for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continue apace, despite Brexit. Nearly two-thirds of the U.K. organizations surveyed said they don't expect their GDPR budgets to change, while 9% said they plan to boost their budgets to get ready for the regulation, which will become enforceable in 2018.

In June 2016, the vote to leave the European Union won by a 52% to 48% margin. Channel companies are monitoring Brexit, which the U.K. government has yet to enact. The government must invoke the Treaty on European Union's Article 50 to put the breakup into motion.  

Alfresco recruitment strategy pays off

Alfresco Software, a vendor of enterprise content management and business process management products, reported strong channel growth since the launch of its partner program in March 2016.

The latest milestone is an expanded partnership with Atos, a digital services company based in Bezons, France, and an Alfresco partner since 2007. Under the agreement, Atos will act as Alfresco's lead partner in Japan. "We settled on Atos because we have relationships with them in other parts of the world. [And Atos was] looking to grow quite extensively in APAC and in Japan specifically, because [Atos] is one of the sponsors of the [2020 Tokyo] Olympics," said Robert Crissman, vice president of global channel programs and sales at Alfresco.

Atos has annual revenue of EUR  12 billion and 100,000 employees in 72 countries, targeting its Alfresco offerings at government and financial services markets, according to Alfresco.

About 50% of Alfresco's business was derived through the channel when Crissman joined the company in May 2015, he said. Additionally, the company had about 200 partners -- "a mix of technology partners, SIs [systems integrators] and OEM relationships." While valuable partners, Alfresco identified a gap in its channel's overall go-to-market capacity and so sought to recruit larger firms that had powerful sales and marketing resources. "We've been very focused on ... building a new partner program that would support these [larger] partners," he said.

Crissman said Alfresco also focuses on recruiting partners in key verticals: the public sector, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing. Because Alfresco's software is "very much a solution sell," the company hasn't done a lot of business with standard resellers, he said. "We're a platform at the end of the day, and it's the solutions that we build on top of the platform that ... tend to get customers excited."

Alfresco's partner roster now includes multinational companies Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Perficient, Ness Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Tieto. Crissman expects Alfresco to be deriving about 70% of its business from partners by February 2017.

In other news

Here's a look at the highlights:

ScanSource Inc. said it will acquire Intelisys Communications Inc. in an $80 million-plus deal that brings together two specialized distributors. ScanSource, a value-added distributor, focuses on point-of-sale, barcode, physical security, video, voice, data networking and emerging technologies. The company sells to about 33,000 reseller customers, according to ScanSource. Intelisys, meanwhile, is a technology services distributor of telecommunication network and cloud services. The company works with channel partners, including agents and value-added resellers.

The pending transaction is built around an initial purchase price of $83.6 million and earn-out payments based on financial performance over the next four years. The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30. The two companies have worked together in the past: Intelisys in 2013 announced a strategic partnership with ScanSource.

Networking vendor ADTRAN bolstered ProCloud Subscription Services, its cloud managed services program for MSPs. The company added Gigabit routers, IP business gateways and session border controllers.

KEMP Technologies entered a strategic partnership with rhipe Ltd, a cloud distributor. Under the arrangement, service providers will have access to KEMP's load balancing and application delivery controller technology. According to KEMP, the partnership marks KEMP's first alliance with a cloud-first distributor.

The Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday on SearchITChannel.com.

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