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Symantec Survey Reveals Organizations Concerned Yet Optimistic About Security in the Cloud in Asia South Region

84 percent confident that cloud move will maintain/improve security yet cite security as a top concern; less than one in five are extremely prepared for cloud transition

SINGAPORE – Symantec Vision 2011 – November 18, 2011 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the results of its 2011 State of Cloud Survey on Asia South, which examines how organizations are adopting cloud computing and dealing with the changes it can impose on their approach to managing IT. According to the survey, organizations have mixed feelings when it comes to security – with a majority ranking it as both a top concern and top goal of moving to the cloud. The survey also revealed that IT organizations may not be adequately prepared for the move to the cloud, as more than half of the respondents said their IT staff are not ready at this time. The study is based on 5,300 responses in 38 countries globally, of which 1,100 responses came from Asia South countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and India.


"Most organizations in Asia South generally believe that moving to the cloud will provide important business benefits and improve their security posture. But they are also concerned that cloud services bring their own risks such as malware attacks and data breach from unauthorized use of cloud-based systems," said Anil Chakravarthy, senior vice president, Storage and Availability Management Group, Symantec. "To ensure success, IT departments need to carefully select the applications that move to the cloud; closely monitor the security, availability, and cost of cloud services; and ensure that their staff has received the proper training and preparation."


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The survey focused on various forms of cloud computing including Public and Private Software-as-a-Service, Hybrid Infrastructure or Platform-as-Service, as well as Public and Private Infrastructure or Platform-as-a-Service.


Organizations Torn Over Security

According to the survey, organizations are conflicted about security – rating it both as a top goal and as a top concern with moving to the cloud. Eighty-four percent of respondents are confident that moving to the cloud will not impact or will actually improve their security. However, achieving security for cloud environments is also a top concern for these organizations, which cited potential risks including malware, data breach from unauthorized use of cloud-based systems, sharing sensitive data insecurely, hacker-based theft, and loss of confidential data.


"With the cloud, everything depends on how you secure your data," said the CTO of a small technology company. "If there’s no security, there’s no point in moving to the cloud."


IT Staff Not Quite Ready for the Cloud

Despite a great deal of consideration, many organizations claimed that they are not ready to adopt the cloud.

The minority of respondents (between 13 and 17 percent) rated their staff as extremely prepared for the transition to cloud. More than half (52 percent) of the respondents said their IT staff are not ready at this time.


Part of the reason for this readiness shortfall is lack of experience, as just 30 percent of IT teams have any cloud experience. As a result, most organizations are currently turning to outside resources for help. In fact, when deploying hybrid infrastructure or platform-as-a-service, about 3 in 4 respondents said they are turning to value added resellers (VARs), independent consultants, vendor professional services organizations or systems integrators.


Few Have Crossed the Finish Line

Many organizations are talking about moving to the cloud, with 78 to 85 percent at least discussing all forms of cloud. Notably, the study found that interest in cloud security services is leading the way - the top cloud services companies are adopting include security management; email services (such as management or security); and web and IM security; and authentication.


However, few have fully migrated to the cloud. Less than 15 percent reported having completed implementing each of the cloud focus areas covered by the research. About 1 in 4 organizations are currently in an implementation phase. Two-thirds are still in early discussions, trials or not considering a move to the cloud at all.


Reality Not Meeting Expectations

The survey discovered that organizations having implemented cloud technologies are not seeing the results/benefits they had anticipated. Eighty-two percent expected cloud to improve the ease of allocating computing resources, but only 45 percent said that it actually did. Results also fell short in the areas of keeping up with technology trends, disaster recovery and improved IT agility.


Recommendations

  • Take the lead in embracing cloud computing. IT needs to take a proactive role in embracing the cloud. Too many IT organizations today are taking a slow, methodical, conservative approach to moving to the cloud. As an IT leader, you should maintain control of important aspects such as security, availability and cost. That’s hard to do unless your staff has received the proper training and preparation.
  • Set information and application tiers. Not all of your information and applications are created equally. Perform an analysis and place your information and applications into tiers to determine what you feel comfortable moving to the cloud.
  • Assess your risk and set appropriate policies. Assure critical information is only accessible by authorized users and that critical information doesn’t leave the company. You should also make sure cloud vendors can meet your compliance requirements. Finally, assess potential cloud vendors for operational issues such as high availability and disaster recovery abilities.
  • Get started now. You don't have to take an all or nothing approach to cloud computing. Leveraging cloud services are an easy first step to moving to the cloud. While it may take time to prepare to move business-critical applications, you can start immediately with simpler applications and services.

Symantec’s 2011 State of Cloud Survey

Symantec’s 2011 State of Cloud Survey focused on various forms of cloud computing including Public and Private Software-as-a-Service, Hybrid Infrastructure or Platform-as-Service, as well as Public and Private Infrastructure or Platform-as-a-Service. The findings are the result of research conducted April-July 2011 by Applied Research, which surveyed IT and C-level professionals responsible for computers, networks and technology resources at both SMBs and enterprise organizations. This is one of the largest cloud surveys of its kind with findings based on 5,300 responses from 38 countries worldwide.

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Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.


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