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Adoption of cloud computing is much broader than previous research suggests,
according to the results of a new Harris Interactive survey of more than 200 IT
leaders at enterprise organizations. The study, sponsored by Novell, also shows
that the momentum behind developing private cloud infrastructures is
accelerating.

More than three-fourths (77 percent) of the respondents reported using some
form of cloud computing today, much higher than previously reported, according
to the study, which focused primarily on those with the position of IT director
and above at large enterprises (with 2,500 to 20,000+ employees).

The research suggests that cloud computing, both public and private, will be
an increasing part of the mix of resources deployed by enterprise IT
organizations, and companies are particularly interested in simplifying
management across their integrated physical, virtual and cloud environments.

Additionally, private clouds are the next logical step for organizations
already implementing virtualization, according to 89 percent of the
respondents. Meanwhile, 34 percent of the respondents are using a mixed
approach of private and public cloud computing, with 43 percent planning to
increase their use of the combined approach.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they believe public cloud computing adoption
will occur alongside, not instead of, company-owned data centers, with 92
percent indicating an increase in public cloud use as current IT platforms are
replaced. Additionally, 31 percent of the respondents found a key benefit to
private cloud computing is the ability to manage a heterogeneous
infrastructure.

“The survey results are telling,” said Jim Ebzery, senior vice president and
general manager of security, management and operating platforms at Novell. “The
path to public cloud computing needs to begin with the private cloud, learning
to leverage the public cloud within the safety of the enterprise network.”

The Harris Interactive study also revealed security as a leading barrier to
cloud computing adoption; 83 percent of respondents said private cloud
computing offers most of the advantages of public cloud computing (including freedom
from maintaining hardware, lower cost upkeep, resource scalability and lower
initial costs), without the security and compliance issues of the public cloud.

The survey found 91 percent of respondents are concerned about security issues
in the public cloud, with 50 percent indicating security as the primary barrier
to implementation; 86 percent believe data is more secure in a private cloud.
Just more than three-quarters (76 percent) of those surveyed feel outside
vendors are not as diligent about data security as internal IT departments,
while difficulty maintaining regulatory policy compliance in the public cloud
versus that of the private cloud was an issue for 81 percent of respondents.