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  • 10 November 2011 09:45

Symantec Survey Reveals Organisations are Concerned Yet Optimistic about Security in the Cloud

SYDNEY, Australia – 10 November 2011 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the results of its 2011 State of Cloud Survey , which examined how organisations are adopting cloud computing and dealing with the changes it can impose on their approach to managing IT. According to the survey, organisations 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. The survey also revealed that IT organisations may not be adequately prepared for the move to the cloud, with almost half of the respondents stating that IT staff are not ready at this time.

Read more detailed blog post: • Cloud Computing: Everyone Is Doing It – Or Are They?

“These survey findings reinforce what our customers are telling us. Security is one of their top concerns when it comes moving to the cloud,” said Francis deSouza, group president, Enterprise Products and Services, Symantec. “To be confident in the cloud, IT organisations 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."

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.

Organisations Torn Over Security

According to the survey, organisations are conflicted about security – rating it both as a top goal and as a top concern with moving to the cloud. Eighty-six percent of Australian 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 organisations, which cited potential risks including malware, hacker-based theft and loss of confidential data. IT Staff Not Quite Ready for the Cloud Despite a great deal of consideration, many organisations claimed that they are not ready to adopt the cloud.

The minority of respondents (between 15-18 percent globally and between 9-14 percent in Australia) rated their staff as extremely prepared for the transition to cloud. Almost half of the respondents said their IT staff 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 organisations are currently turning to outside resources for help. In fact, when deploying hybrid infrastructure or platform-as-a-service, about three in four respondents said they are turning to value added resellers (VARs), independent consultants, vendor professional services organisations or systems integrators.

Few Have Crossed the Finish Line

Many organisations are talking about moving to the cloud, with 75 to 81 percent globally and 63 to 74 percent in Australia at least discussing all forms of cloud. Notably, the study found a high interest in cloud services. Some 73 percent of global respondents and 66 percent of Australian 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 globally and 15 percent in Australia reported having completed implementing each of the cloud focus areas covered by the research. About one in five Australian organisations 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 organisations having implemented cloud technologies are not seeing the results/benefits they had anticipated. Some 86 percent of Australian organisations expected cloud to improve their IT agility, but only 52 percent said that it actually did. Results also fell short in the areas of disaster recovery, efficiency, lower operational expenses and improved security.

Recommendations

• Take the lead in embracing cloud computing. IT needs to take a proactive role in embracing the cloud. Too many IT organisations 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 authorised 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

Symantec’s 2011 State of Cloud Survey

Symantec’s 2011 State of Cloud 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. The findings are the result of research conducted April-July 2011 by Applied Research, which surveyed IT and C-level professionals responsible for computers, networks and technology resources at both SMBs and enterprise organisations. This is one of the largest cloud surveys of its kind with findings based on 5,300 responses from 38 countries worldwide, including 350 respondents in Australia.

Resources

• State of Cloud Survey Press Kit • Global 2011 State of Cloud Survey Report (PDF) • Infographic: Business and the Cloud: Are IT Departments Ready for the Ride? • Slideshare Presentation: 2011 State of Cloud Survey • Symantec Cloud Solutions

Connect with Symantec

• Follow Symantec on Twitter • Join Symantec on Facebook • Subscribe to Symantec News RSS Feed • View Symantec’s SlideShare Channel • Visit Symantec Connect Business Community

About Symantec Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organisations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.

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For more information please contact: Jasmin Athwal Max Australia M: 0414 967 088 P: +61 2 9954 3492 jasmin.athwal@maxaustralia.com.au

Debbie Sassine Symantec Corp. + 61 405 735 323 debbie_sassine@symantec.com

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