New IDC Survey Data Finds Use of Public Cloud Business Continuity Services Still in Nascent Stages

FRAMINGHAM, MA – October 15, 2010 – A new report published by International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals that the need for business continuity will continue to grow in importance among organizations of all types and sizes. However, to date, this has not translated to an early opportunity for cloud-based business continuity solutions. The IDC study, which looked at the knowledge and use of different types of public cloud storage services, reveals that the opportunity for cloud-based storage continues to evolve as users and service providers explore the possibilities for different storage services.

"Discrete business continuity services delivered via a public cloud remain an untapped opportunity for suppliers," says Laura DuBois, program vice president, Storage Software at IDC. "There are very few offerings that enable an on-premise application or system to failover to shared infrastructure in a public cloud. However, what firms increasingly require is continuity of business. They need this continuity of IT processing without bearing the cost of standing up additional cold or standby infrastructure and initiating a restore process. As public cloud storage offerings continue to take hold, we expect to see suppliers start to capitalize on this opportunity by leveraging virtual infrastructure."

According to the IDC study, knowledge of public cloud storage offerings is greatest for backup and primary file storage. Business continuity services are the least well known, and this is due to the lack of broad availability of this type of capability. Among those surveyed, only 37.3% were able to articulate a position for their firm on their intentions on business continuity services. Conversely, just under three-fourths (71.3%) were able to articulate a position on public cloud backup.

"Given the limited number of providers offering cloud-based storage continuity services, there is ample room for early success," says Brad Nisbet, program manager, Storage and Data Management Services at IDC. "Addressing business continuity is a natural extension of existing cloud-based services such as backup and archiving, and will prove to be an early differentiator among service providers, especially among those that are addressing the needs of SMBs — a community eager to find practical, offsite solutions to address disaster recovery scenarios and enable business continuity."

The IDC study, Public Cloud Business Continuity Services Remain an Underserved Opportunity (Doc #224792), is based on results drawn from a Web survey completed in 2010 by 300 qualified IT and business professionals. To participate in the Storage in the Cloud Survey, respondents had to understand cloud storage policies, process, and strategy for their firm. The survey quantified midsize (100–999 employees), large (1,000–9,999 employees), and very large (10,000+ employees) companies' current use of, future plans for, or expansion of different public cloud storage offerings. Further examination of the adoption of cloud storage for particular use cases and with specific applications due to specific drivers was conducted. Budgets, workloads, capacity, supplier preference, and key requirements were uncovered.

Overall, cloud computing is one of the faster growing areas of IT spending. According to Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst Frank Gens, "With 27% growth, we are 'crossing the chasm' with public IT cloud services, moving from just early adopters to early mainstream organizations. This makes 2010 and 2011 a critical time for CIOs and IT vendors to define their strategies and stake out early advantages for their organizations."

To read more research in the area of cloud computing and to join other business and IT professionals in ongoing commentary and opinion on best practices, emerging market trends, and latest market developments in cloud computing, join the discussions on the IDC Cloud Computing Blog. This blog serves as a cross-industry interactive dialogue to share valuable information and ideas, promote discussion, and bring together thought leaders in the areas of cloud computing. Contributing analysts include:

Lucinda Borovick

* – Datacenter Networks & the CloudLaura Dubois

* – Storage Software in the Cloud, Archiving & BackupFrank Gens

* – Cloud Computing Overview, Trends & AdoptionStephen Hendrick

* – Cloud PlatformsSally Hudson

* – Cloud Security and Identity ManagementGard Little

* – Cloud Professional ServicesRobert Mahowald

* – Cloud Software & Services, SaaS & Business ModelsBrad Nisbet

* – Cloud Storage and Data Mgmt ServicesRobert Parker

* – Industry-specific Cloud Computing AdoptionDavid Tapper

* – Outsourcing & Cloud ServicesMary Johnston Turner

* – Systems Management in the CloudRick Villars

* – Cloud Services Storage

The IDC Cloud Computing Blog is part of the IDC Insights Community, the leading global, interactive, online community for business and IT professionals to network, share and engage around technology issues within the context of their business. Visit the IDC Insights Community at [].

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting [].

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