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Companies still on the move to cloud, but security remains the No. 1 obstacle

Overall, 2014 has been a positive year for cloud computing, according to a survey done by IDG Enterprise.

Companies and IT executives continue to plan what they should put in the cloud in order to reap the benefits of the three main cloud platforms: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS.

Over half (56%) of companies that took the survey are still experimenting with IT operations that they can move to the cloud. And, 61% of companies are looking to invest in emerging technology, such as software defined networksto capitalize on cloud investments.

Another interesting survey result, given the prevalence of shadow cloud applications: IT leaders say they are still in charge of most aspects of the purchasing process of cloud. That includes determining the business need (78%), determining the requirements (75%), evaluation (80%), recommending and selecting vendors (75%), selling internally/outside of the IT team (48%), and approving and authorizing cloud deployments (64%).

The top three objectives driving companies to move to the cloud are:  speed of deployment (39%), lower total cost of ownership (39%) and replacing on-premise legacy technologies (35%).  Only a relatively small percentage of the 1,672 respondents — 75% of which were executive or mid-level IT leaders — expect an immediate payoff from their cloud investments. “Faster return on investment” was at the bottom of the list of objectives for implementing cloud computing, cited by only 11% of respondents. ,

That’s not to say that IT organizations aren’t reaping many benefits from the cloud. When asked the impact cloud computing technology was having on their organizations, 63% of respondents cited IT agility, up from 54% of respondents in 2013. That was followed by: IT innovation (61%), access to critical business data and applications (58%), need for specialized It skills (56%) and employee collaboration (56%).

The view was not all rosy. The number one obstacle in 2014? Security.

Cloud computing security was cited by 61% of respondents as top challenge keeping them from implementing a cloud strategy. Companies said they were concerned about the risk of unauthorized access, data integrity, and protection. Second to security, 46% of respondents said integration was an obstacle to adopting cloud.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Kristen Lee, features writer, or find her on Twitter @Kristen_Lee_34.

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