Dubai, United Arab Emirates – GITEX Technology Week - October 8th, 2011 – Ahead of the GITEX Cloud Confex next week, Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) will address concerns facing IT organizations in the Middle East that are keen to move into the cloud. This comes off the back of a global survey that examined how organizations are adopting cloud computing and dealing with the changes it can impose on their approach to managing IT.
Symantec’s 2011 State of Cloud Survey reflects trends that experts are currently seeing in cloud adoption in this region where organizations have mixed feelings when it comes to security – with a majority ranking it as both a top concern and top goal of moving to the cloud. Symantec has also seen that IT organizations may not be adequately prepared for the move to the cloud, as almost half of the respondents said their IT staffs are not ready at this time.
“Findings from this survey reinforce what our customers are telling us and mirror attitudes that we are currently seeing in this part of the world towards cloud adoption with security currently being one of the top concerns for organizations across the Middle East” said Bulent Teksoz, Chief Security Strategist for Emerging Markets.
“To be confident in the cloud, IT organizations must take measures to ensure they have the same visibility and control of their information and applications whether they are in the cloud or residing on their own infrastructure - especially in light of recent intelligence that points to a rise in targeted attacks in this region."
What are Symantec’s recommendations for organizations looking to move into the cloud?
• Take the lead in embracing cloud computing. IT needs to take a proactive role in embracing the cloud. Too many IT organizations today are taking a slow, methodical, conservative approach to moving to the cloud. As an IT leader, you should maintain control of important aspects such as security, availability and cost. That’s hard to do unless your staff has received the proper training and preparation.
• Set information and application tiers. Not all of your information and applications are created equally. Perform an analysis and place your information and applications into tiers to determine what you feel comfortable moving to the cloud.
• Assess your risk and set appropriate policies. Assure critical information is only accessible by authorized users and that critical information doesn’t leave the company. You should also make sure cloud vendors can meet your compliance requirements. Finally, assess potential cloud vendors for operational issues such as high availability and disaster recovery abilities.
• Get started now. You don't have to take an all or nothing approach to cloud computing. Leveraging cloud services are an easy first step to moving to the cloud. While it may take time to prepare to move business-critical applications, you can start immediately with simpler applications and services.
2011 State of Cloud Survey
The survey focused on various forms of cloud computing including Public and Private Software-as-a-Service, Hybrid Infrastructure or Platform-as-Service, as well as Public and Private Infrastructure or Platform-as-a-Service.
Organizations Torn Over Security
According to the survey, organizations are conflicted about security – rating it both as a top goal and as a top concern with moving to the cloud. Eighty-seven percent of respondents are confident that moving to the cloud will not impact or will actually improve their security. However, achieving security for cloud environments is also a top concern for these organizations, which cited potential risks including malware, hacker-based theft and loss of confidential data.
“With the cloud, everything depends on how you secure your data,” said the CTO of a small technology company. “If there’s no security, there’s no point in moving to the cloud.”
IT Staff Not Quite Ready for the Cloud
Despite a great deal of consideration, many organizations claimed that they are not ready to adopt the cloud.
The minority of respondents (between 15 and 18 percent) rated their staff as extremely prepared for the transition to cloud. Almost half of the respondents said their IT staffs are not ready at this time.
Part of the reason for this readiness shortfall is lack of experience, as just 25 percent of IT teams have any cloud experience. As a result, most organizations are currently turning to outside resources for help. In fact, when deploying hybrid infrastructure or platform-as-a-service, about 3 in 4 respondents said they are turning to value added resellers (VARs), independent consultants, vendor professional services organizations or systems integrators.
Few Have Crossed the Finish Line
Many organizations are talking about moving to the cloud, with 75 to 81 percent at least discussing all forms of cloud. Notably, the study found a high interest in cloud services. Seventy-three percent of respondents have adopted or are adopting some sort of cloud service, with security services leading the way. The top cloud services companies are adopting include email services (such as management or security); security management; and web and IM security.
However, few have fully migrated to the cloud. Less than 20 percent reported having completed implementing each of the cloud focus areas covered by the research. About 1 in 4 organizations are currently in an implementation phase. About two-thirds are still in early discussions, trials or not considering a move to the cloud at all.
Reality Not Meeting Expectations
The survey discovered that organizations having implemented cloud technologies are not seeing the results/benefits they had anticipated. Eighty-eight percent expected cloud to improve their IT agility, but only 47 percent said that it actually did. Results also fell short in the areas of disaster recovery, efficiency, lower operational expenses and improved security.
This year, Symantec will have a prime location in Hall 3, Stand D3-1, which will consist of meeting rooms, a presentation theatre and solution demonstration pods where various solutions will be showcased in collaboration with our trusted channel partners from across the region. Symantec.cloud is also taking part in the Cloud Confex Stand CLD-7 in the Sheikh Saeed Hall.
Bulent Teksoz, Chief Security Strategist for Emerging Markets with Symantec will be speaking at the GITEX at the following times:
Day 2: Monday 10th October:
GITEX Vendor Theatre: Security Above the Cloud – 11:45am
Cloud Confex Conference: Security and Governance in the Cloud – 2:45pm
Day 3: Tuesday 11th October:
GITEX Vendor Theatre: Security Above the Cloud – 11:45am