Confidence in the cloud : Why it's riding high and on the rise

The concept of "confidence" in any client supplier relationship can be a difficult thing to measure, but it's importance cannot be under-estimated. For CIOs looking to entrust their most critical applications to a third party, it is one of the most important aspects in establishing and maintaining a long term relationship.

Organisations looking to transition applications to a cloud environment, need to have complete faith and assurance in the skills, expertise and infrastructure of their service provider. Their business and reputation, quite simply, relies upon it.

It was encouraging, then, to see that, according to the results from a recent survey with CIOs and IT Directors, confidence in the cloud is on the rise (ed : from a survey with 100 CIOs / IT Directors carried out by Vanson Bourne).

Certainly, when asked about their perception of the cloud now, compared with a couple of years ago, 87 per cent of respondents stated that they have more trust in the cloud today.

This increased confidence was borne out by further findings from the survey which revealed that the overwhelming majority of respondents (79 per cent) either already use, or would consider using a Managed Services Provider to look after their business critical applications. Certainly, many organisations have now tried and tested cloud services from virtualisation providers.

Tellingly, however, respondents recognised that a different set of skills is required from providers entrusted with 'business critical' applications - those applications which need to be highly available during specified times, not always 24x7x365, - as opposed to those handling a non - business critical environment.

Which leads, naturally, to the question of what factors come into play when selecting your provider, be it specialist expertise in specific applications, visibility of the infrastructure itself , to SLAs, or less tangible aspects such as account relationships and trust in your provider.

Understanding these key issues and asking the right questions of a provider, can make all the difference to ensuring the performance, management and security of your most critical applications meets the service levels that you require.