As IT professionals continue to look for ways to automate and offload management tasks that rob IT departments of valuable time an resources, they are turning to cloud-based backup and web hosting applications to aid their jobs.
Spiceworks has revealed that a new survey analysing how IT professionals utilise cloud-based applications to do their jobs. The study, "Look Ma, No Hardware" revealed 70% of IT professionals are utilising cloud-based web hosting applications with an additional 3% planning to use a web hosting service in the next six months.
"The challenge of maintaining specialised hardware and software is clearly driving IT professionals to cloud-based IT applications," said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT programme manager at Spiceworks. "Vendors who can deliver the capabilities of traditional hardware/software solutions in a cost effective manner have a great opportunity to address the needs of IT professionals."
60% and 30% of respondents are using cloud-based security and backup applications respectively. While online backup solutions showed the lowest adoption rates, 13% of respondents said they plan to implement an offering in the next six months.
The research also shows that of the 43% who have or plan to deploy a cloud-based backup solution, nearly 75% have already or will back up more than 100 gigabytes of data to the cloud. In fact, 33% of respondents have or plan to back up more than 1 terabyte of data to the cloud.
When asked the primary benefits and challenges associated with cloud-based backup services, "local disaster protection" was a significant benefit with "lack of offsite tape hassles" and "ease of use" cited by respondents.
IT professionals are using a variety of cloud-based security applications to protect their networks and end users. Anti-spam solutions are used by 41% of respondents, followed by content filtering at 27% and anti-virus at 22%. More advanced security applications including mobile policy management and mobile anti-virus are poised for growth in the next six months.
When asked about their concerns, IT professionals not using a cloud-based security solution said the "lack of control over solution components," "risk of relying on third parties to deliver critical services," and "bandwidth requirements" were the primary barriers to adoption.
According to the survey, 70% of IT professionals use a web hosting solution. Of these, 70% are very or extremely satisfied with their web hosting vendor.
EarthLink's executive vice president of sales and marketing, Michael D. Toplisek, said, "The results of this Spiceworks study reaffirm what we hear every day from our business customers across all industries. A cloud-based IT infrastructure enables IT leaders to leverage this virtual infrastructure to control numerous applications, extend secure access to employees and satisfy audit requirements. Cloud-based web hosting applications, such as the EarthLink's 365+ collaboration suite, now provide mid-sized businesses with an enterprise-class service, so there is no compromise on functionality."