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Executives need to learn more about cloud computing, study says

The rapid maturity of the cloud has encouraged decision-makers from a wide range of industries to implement the technology within their workplace. While the cloud has proven to be helpful to a number of organizations, many executives are still confused about the solution and have a low level of confidence in some of the cloud's characteristics.

This was highlighted in a new study by the Cloud Security Alliance and ISACA, which found that there continues to be misconceptions associated with cloud computing that confuse corporate decision-makers and employees alike.

"As a first step, we as an industry must still work to provide a clearer definition of what cloud is and how the many innovative and secure services can help positively impact today’s businesses," said J.R. Santos, global research director at CSA. "But we need to start at the top and engage senior management. Cloud needs can no longer be thought of as a technical issue to address, but rather a business asset to embrace."

Cloud computing industry overview
The survey, which polled more than 250 cloud users, providers and consultants, revealed that roughly 24 percent of respondents said there is no level of innovation in the cloud market. Furthermore, the majority of participants said the overall industry is far from reaching maturity.

Despite these concerns, it is the business enablers, rather than the financial benefits, that are driving cloud computing adoption in the private sector, according to the study.

"Cloud can provide business-building innovation, but to get to that point, there needs to be more buy-in and a better understanding among business leaders and C-level executives of the cloud's value and risk," said Yves Le Roux, a member of CSA and the ISACA guidance and practices committee.

A separate report by MYOB revealed that small businesses, in particular, can experience a number of benefits by embracing cloud hosting services. While these advantages come in a number of shapes and sizes, the most commonly appreciated is the ability to access mission-critical data from virtually anywhere at any time. Cloud technologies also give companies the ability to support remote working capabilities, which are becoming increasingly popular in today's highly mobile business world.

As the cloud matures, decision-makers need to learn more about the hosted solutions if they want to remain truly competitive in the cutthroat private sector.

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