cloudsLeading IT staffing firm TEKsystems has released the results of their new IT survey. Their Q2 2012 survey of over 1,500 IT leaders, mostly IT managers and directors (77 percent) and IT executives (23 Percent) has found that while 78 percent of IT leaders define the cloud as including web services, 70 percent report that it includes SaaS, 62 percent say it can also refer to external application hosting, and 59 percent feel that it can also refer to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). There seems to be some confusion, or at least ambiguity, as to what cloud computing actually is.

“The dream of cloud computing comes from the hopes of creating a virtual mainframe where everyone and everything can communicate together from anywhere,” says TEKsystems Global Services Vice President, Randy Verdino. “It sounds simple enough, but ambiguity occurs when you start looking at public vs. private clouds, best data storage practices, allocating computing resources to meet application demand and supporting geographic distribution of virtual computing resources.”

Regardless of how they define the cloud, most IT leaders are uncertain as to what software applications can be potentially migrated to the cloud. Over 40 percent of participants said that data is the primary application that they would like to see moved to the cloud. Less than one third of respondents showed interest in adapting messaging applications, enterprise portals, conferencing tools, or CRM systems to the cloud.

“The size and magnitude of cloud environments coupled with ambiguity as to its definition, causes challenges about where to start and what needs to move first. Many businesses will be taking a phase-oriented approach which usually starts with addressing the shared storage of data,” states Verdino. “Once you determine where to start, another challenge arises – who is going to figure out what to do and how to get it done?”

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