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CIOs Weigh Cloud's Prospects, Complications

The cloud is the thing in enterprise IT and this thing keeps getting bigger and bigger by the day. But for CIOs in some industries—particularly the financial services and government—the benefits of lower initial investment costs, smaller data centers and universal data access are often offset by security and control concerns.

As CIO Update discovered, for all the excitement and genuine optimism surrounding on-demand computing environments experts are cautioning that this new computing paradigm is still in its infancy and there will be many trials and errors before enterprise IT administrators settle on the appropriate balance between on-premise and cloud-based software and services.

Moving beyond the hype, pundits say CIOs must be provided with models that clearly show what the return on investment is for the cloud and what level of security and service consistency they can expect before jumping in with both feet.

There's also the fiscal reality that whatever investment a company makes in pure cloud alternatives, it will still need to invest plenty in its existing on-premise systems and, hopefully, incorporate them into an efficient, money-saving hybrid organization.


The market for managed cloud services is predicted to grow at a rapid rate: Researcher Forrester predicts the cloud market hitting $217 billion by 2014, while IDC is also seeing strong interest in the cloud, reaching into the billions of dollars in spending by the same year.

Of course, as enterprises move toward cloud services, how CIOs acquire technology assets as well as the role that CIOs themselves play within enterprises are also going to be shifting.

In a live webcast with representatives from Verizon and Cisco, Ellen Daley, a vice president and practice leader at Forrester, noted that it's important to remember that while there is a lot of excitement around the cloud, it's still early days for the market -- which means much is in flux.

Read the full story at CIO Update:
What CIOs Need to Know About the Cloud