Is cloud storage coming to a theatre near you?

future-storageIncluded with this blog post is the third in a series of seven videos that talk about the key findings from ESG’s recently published research report, Next-generation Storage Architectures. I collaborated with my colleagues Terri McClure and Mark Peters on the research. In this segment, I talk about one of the key next-generation storage architectures: cloud storage.

So how do senior IT professionals feel about the potential value of cloud storage? Well, it’s a paradox.

Based on our research, senior IT professionals have high levels of interest in cloud storage—as well as high levels of hesitation and fear. Yet, despite the uncertainty, organizations continue to increase their public cloud usage. (I said it was a paradox.) In light of security concerns, it was not surprising that test and development was the most commonly mentioned use case for cloud. 

While test and development might indeed be a driver for cloud storage, when it comes to content archive, respondents expressed great concern about security. These concerns were exacerbated by a lack of internal data governance, which impedes an organization from knowing where its sensitive data lives.

Then what would reduce security concerns and allow IT professionals to take a more positive view of cloud storage? Better encryption would be key. Well, that’s interesting, since a number of public cloud solutions already offer encryption capabilities. Perhaps it’s time for cloud providers to strengthen their security message.

ESG research also revealed that respondents found it difficult to isolate their responses to public cloud storage, specifically infrastructure-as-a-service solutions. This trend suggests a tendency by organizations to shift the conversation to software-as-a-service, moving to public cloud services at the application level, rather than at the infrastructure level.    

So what will alleviate an organization’s anxiety about migrating to the public cloud? To learn more, take a three-minute break and watch my video:

Video Transcript:

ESG's recent Next-generation Storage Architectures research used in-depth, qualitative interviews to find out what Senior IT Managers really think about the potential relevance and value of these five nascent storage technologies.

In this video, one of a series of seven summarizing our key research findings, Scott Sinclair examines what we've found out about attitudes to cloud storage.

Scott Sinclair: From our findings, public cloud storage presented an interesting paradox. That is to say, our findings revealed high-levels of interest combined with high-levels of hesitation and fear. Nearly every respondent voiced some level of concern around the security of public cloud storage. Despite the uncertainty, organizations continue to look to increase their public cloud usage. In light of the security concerns, it was not surprising that test and development was the most commonly mentioned use case for public cloud. 

When expanding the conversation to other use cases, such as content archive however, security concerns drove a considerable portion of the hesitation, which was further exacerbated by a prevailing lack of data governance, impeding the ability of an organization to discern sensitive from non-sensitive information.

When polled for ways to potentially alleviate the security concerns, encryption saw the most mentions, suggesting that it could potentially entice fence-setters to make the leap, or at least test the waters. However, a number of public cloud solutions already provide encryption capabilities. This discrepancy suggests that there could be an opportunity for cloud providers to strengthen their security message.

It should also be noted that respondents continually found it difficult to isolate their responses to public cloud storage, and specifically, infrastructure as a service solutions, often shifting those discussions to software as a service solutions. As a result, Office 365 saw a high number of mentions. This trend suggests that a potential tendency by organizations to move to the public cloud services at the application rather than the infrastructure level.

The bigger truth for public cloud storage is that while there's a high level of excitement in the industry, there's also a high-level of reticence. Security will be an important deciding factor when evaluating public cloud storage solutions over the next several quarters.

Mark Peters: If you want to find out more, please see the other six videos in this series or get the full ESG research report from our website.

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Topics: Storage