The State of Cloud Computing—the Results Might Surprise You

Anthony Malakian, US Editor, WatersTechnology

After moderating a webcast on cloud computing, Anthony finds that a lot of people are still uncomfortable with the cloud. Also, the Waters Rankings are open ...VOTE NOW!

For as much as we all talk about cloud computing, it's amazing how there is still so much confusion as to what is, and is not, cloud technology.

Yesterday I moderated a webcast on cloud, and polled the hundreds of people who tuned in about their take on the cloud. A very surprising 35 percent said that they do not use the cloud in any way. Really? Is that even possible?

Graham Hill, senior vice president of cloud infrastructure at Citi, chalks that response up to a misunderstanding of what a cloud is. He says that most external service providers are using the cloud in some way, and as such, if you use an external service provider you are therefore using the cloud.

Interestingly, only two-thirds of respondents listed security as one of their top two concerns, out of five choices, about the cloud. I had assumed that that number would be closer to 100 percent. Of course, two years ago, it certainly would have been.

As Neil Smyth, technology director at buy-side solutions provider StatPro, pointed out, “Security is slightly overblown. Internal breeches cause much more damage.” The cloud actually makes it more difficult for internal theft to occur.

The cloud webcast will be available on in the near future, and there's a lot of good discussion toward the end about how the cloud is going to make many internal jobs at hedge funds and asset managers obsolete, so listen to it if you weren’t able to participate in the live discussion.

In the meantime, if you are an IT manager at a buy-side firm, I'd love to have a conversation—off the record if you want—about your top concerns when it comes to the cloud. Give me a call at +1 646-490-3973 or email [email protected]

In other news, the Waters Rankings polls have opened! Voting has begun and we will accept ballots until May 25, so make sure you get yours in.


Finally, let me leave you will the survey results from the four poll questions I asked the listeners during the event. What do you think? If anything jumps out at you, let me know.

(Results may not equal 100% as they are rounded up or down.)

1. At your firm, which type of cloud strategy are you employing?
* Public? 15%
* Private? 26%
* Both public and private, but clearly differentiated? 16%
* A true hybrid strategy with interoperability? 8%
* I do not use the cloud. 35%

2. What are your top two concerns when it comes to the cloud?
* Security? 67%
* Lack of interoperability? 29%
* Latency and response times? 38%
* Vendor lock-in? 27%
* Cost? 20%

3. As it relates to security, what are your greatest concerns for the cloud?
* An external hacker gaining information? 17%
* Accidental loss of information into the public domain? 31%
* A competitor that is using the same cloud gaining access to your information? 14%
* In the case of an outage, data loss? 20%
* Authentication and identity management? 12%
* Latency concerns during an emergency? 7%

4. What are your most important benchmarks in assessing your cloud provider?
* Uptime/SLA? 25%
* Latency? 16%
* Interoperability with other services for the cloud? 16%
* Scalability? 18%
* Ability to meet changing regulatory demands? 25%


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