According to a recent Spiceworks survey on cloud-networking trends, 75% of small and medium-sized business IT professionals say the number of remote and mobile workers grew in recent years, and 96% of these workers need access to behind-the-firewall resources.
This represents a new set of network and security challenges for IT organizations. Forty-two percent of IT professionals in the SMB space cited mobile-device security as a top concern, and more than 60% are spending more on networking and security than before.
In response, cloud-networking providers are responding with products to meet the demand. But why, then, are the majority of IT professionals — some 55% of them — still hesitant to adopt remote access?
Uptake Slowdown: 55% Still Say "No" to the Cloud
Traditional networking has been around a long time. Native servers, as it stands, are still often perceived as the go-to hardware for speed. But not necessarily for flexibility. When you want to build or change a network with native equipment, you need to go about it in a laborious, cord-and-cable fashion.
The cloud promises a more dynamic scenario, one in which IT admins can more easily construct their systems along NaaS, cloud-based networking, or cloud-enabled networking lines. But the numbers tell us that the majority of IT admins are not taking advantage of the cloud network — at least not yet.
- 72% of the Spiceworks respondents said they were familiar with the possibilities of cloud networking.
- 45% said they use cloud networking, or plan to implement it within the next 12 months.
That's more than half not ready to adopt. There are pain points and worries at work, still.
Needs and Negotiations: What IT Wants from Cloud Networking
The key reason for uptake slowdown may come as no surprise: It's security. That concern ranked highest among respondents. But there are other issues, too.
- 61% of the respondents cited concerns about encryption, NAT, authentication, and other security issues.
- 53% said a potential lack of control over the infrastructure ranked high on their list.
- 42% worried about service outages or slowdowns.
- 41% considered data loss a prime problem.
In addition, more than one-third pointed to both compliance violations and cost-effectiveness as holdups when it comes to adopting third-party cloud networking.
Vendors that can address the highest ranking issues for IT professionals could go a long way toward nudging that 55% of slow-to-adopt admins into the cloud. They'd be wise to take note of the story that the Spiceworks survey tells.
And some are taking note. Todd Krautkremer, vice president of marketing at Pertino, puts it like this: Providers need to "unbox and un-complicate networking for SMBs while delivering enterprise-class capabilities.”
So be it, but for Alan Byrne, part of the information technology team at Cogmotive Reports, the benefits of cloud networking are clear and present. His company hosts e-mail in the cloud, and uses commercial web-based apps to handle critical network services such as content filtering, firewalls, and DNS.
“The decision we made was basically around speed of delivery and the ability to scale it as we got new customers on board,” Byrne says. “All of the functionality is out there -- we just leveraged it. Saved us a lot of money, too.”