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CDW study suggests cloud enthusiasm overblown

Here’s one for your “hmmm” files: IT solution provider CDW has just released its first Cloud Computing Tracking Poll, which is based on a survey of 1,200 IT professionals that are involved with corporate cloud computing infrastructure planning or projects. The survey suggests that despite all the hype about the cloud computing model, only 28 percent of U.S. organizations are actually using some sort of cloud infrastructure today. Mostly, that is in the form of a single cloud application.

The study goes on to suggest that this community believes only 42 percent of their existing infrastructure and applications have the potential to live in the cloud. Among the survey respondents who WERE using a cloud application or service, most expect to spend only 34 percent of their IT budget on cloud computing by 2016. That means about two-thirds of their budgets WILL NOT be spent on the cloud; it also reinforces the growing belief that businesses will rely on a hybrid set of delivery models for their IT infrastructure.

In a press release describing the report, CDW’s senior director of managed services, David Cottingham, said:

“Many organizations are carefully — and selectively — moving into cloud computing, as well they should, because it represents a significant shift in how computing resources are provided and managed. With thoughtful planning, organizations can realize benefits that align directly with their organizational goals.”

I think the operative word in his comment is “selective.” While it would be dangerous to ignore the emergence of cloud computing technologies and services, now that the concept has been field-tested a bit, it is becoming more and more clear that cloud will be just one of the ways that technology will be delivered. At least within most companies. But that hybrid model suggests, perhaps, that the typical IT solution provider should probably spend more time tracking the cloud’s progress than they may have done traditionally.

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