CXO

Cloud apps are quietly winning over CIOs, but security still spooks many

TechRepublic polled its panel of IT leaders and asked if cloud computing was funded in their 2009 budgets. See the CIO Jury vote and the comments.

A June survey sponsored by F5 Networks reported that two-thirds of IT departments had dedicated budgets for cloud computing. I was skeptical about that number since the survey did not include any CIOs. Also, based on my conversations with IT leaders on this topic, 66% sounded much too high. Thus, I posed the question to TechRepublic's CIO Jury. And, as I suspected, a significantly lower percentage reported that cloud computing was part of their 2009 budgets.

On September 14, TechRepublic polled its 90-member panel of U.S. IT executives and asked, "Does your 2009 IT budget include any funding for cloud-based applications?" The jury, made up of the first 12 respondents, ruled to the "no" votes with seven, verses five "yes" votes. However, several of the "no" voters also commented that they have plans for the cloud in their 2010 budgets.

TechRepublic's CIO Jury is based on the original CIO Jury concept developed by Silicon.com, where you can find lively opinions from IT leaders based in the UK.

The CIO Jury for this verdict was:

  1. Kurt Schmidt, IT Director of Capital Credit Union
  2. Nicholas Dibble, CIO of BuyOnlineNow
  3. Mitchell Herbert, IT Director of McCormick Barstow
  4. James Riner, CIO of R and R Images
  5. Jeanne DeVore, Head of IT for Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  6. Brent Nair, CIO of Wunderlich Securities
  7. Mark Westhoff, Director of IT for Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District
  8. David Van Geest, Director of IT for The Orsini Group
  9. Shawn Cohen, CIO of Value Line Inc.
  10. Lance Taylor-Warren, CIO of H.A.W.C. Community Health Centers
  11. Chris Brown, Vice President of Technology for Big Splash Web Design
  12. Jeff Relkin, Director of IT for Quadel

Beyond just the 12 members of this week's jury, other members of TechRepublic's CIO panel also responded with comments on this issue. Below is a selection of those comments, divided between the Yes and No camps.

Yes

  • " We license a number of applications that are SaaS in nature, and the number is growing each year." (Chuck Elliott, IT Director for Emory University School of Medicine)
  • " Yes. In fact, cloud based application deployment is a significant component of the manner in which we designed our enterprise architecture, with projects designed to yield cost savings and opportunities for operational efficiency." (Jeff Relkin, Director of IT for Quadel)
  • "We migrated this summer from an in-house consumer loan origination system to a cloud based system.  We'll be doing the same with mortgage loan originations in the next couple of months." (John Gracyalny, Director of IT for SafeAmerica Credit Union)
  • "We have initiatives in progress for cloud-based network security and VoIP phone service." (Matthew Metcalfe, Director of IS for Northwest Exterminating)
  • "We are moving student email to Google Apps (Gmail) for 1500 accounts  at no cost the the school." (Randy Krzyston, Director of IT for Thomas Jefferson School of Law)
  • "It's a big push currently to explore and deploy." (Michael Hanken, Vice President of IT for Multiquip Inc.)
  • "Cloud-based depends on how one defines 'cloud.'  We have, for sure, increased the amount of hosted services and applications accessible only through the Web." (Mark Westhoff, Director of IT for Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District)

No

  • "Not this year and most likely not anytime soon. We see this as a possible solution that needs more time to mature. In my opinion  there remains too many questions regarding security [and] data ownership." (Tom Gainer, CIO of FirstBank Southwest)
  • "We do many proprietary apps and need more security. We will wait and see how the security holds up before we will even think about it." (Paul Vawter, CIO of Ohio Housing Finance Agency)
  • "We are still not sure of the legal ramifications of putting our internal data in the cloud, so this is definitely not something that we will pursue until for a few years." (Ingo Dean, IT Director of EastWest Institute)
  • "No . It is much more difficult to ensure the security of our patients' information when it is kept outside of the organization." (David Van Geest, Director of IT for The Orsini Group)
  • "No. Currently the largest issue with cloud computing is the bandwidth requirements for moving large amounts of data." (James Riner, CIO of R and R Images)
  • " All of our practice management and electronic medical records systems are client/server based and cloud computing is not really something we are looking at.  Also as a 501(c)3, we have deep discounts available for full office solutions, so cloud-based solutions are not that attractive." (Lance Taylor-Warren, CIO of H.A.W.C. Community Health Centers)
  • "We maintain our files and applications within our private network. We have no plans for using cloud-based apps in the near future." (David Wilson, Director of IT for VectorCSP)
  • "No, but we will begin to seriously investigate this for 2010, since it will provide a number of new possibilities in partner based applications, interfaces, and storage or DR capabilities." (Edward Beck, Vice President of IT for Line 6, Inc.)
  • "No. Expecting to include for 2010 budget." (Chuck Codling, Director of Infrastructure for Rocky Brands, Inc.)
  • "No. However, our 2010 budget will. We intend to merge six disparate database systems onto the Salesforce.com platform." (Chris Riccuiti, CIO of Needham and Company, LLC)
See also: Feds launch Apps.gov; Cloud computing players salivate

Would you like to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say in the hottest issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, drop us a line at ciojury@techrepublic.com.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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