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V3 Cloud Summit: Start-ups and small businesses to drive cloud take-up

27 Sep 2011

Small businesses and start-ups will push the use of cloud computing into the IT mainstream as security concerns continue to hinder take up among larger firms.

Steve O'Donnell, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' cloud technology division, explained that the needs of small companies are perfectly met by cloud technologies.

"Start-ups need to be agile. They're concerned about costs and speed of execution but not about risks, so they adopt cloud platforms quickly, such as Gmail, customer relationship management and accounting platforms," he said.

"Start-ups doing cloud and then moving up [as they grow] will definitely drive cloud, and so will students and young IT professionals who will drag their enterprises into the 21st century."

However, O'Donnell explained that issues around reliability, data security, privacy and compliance all present obstacles for many larger firms that will take time to overcome.

"Larger enterprises are market leaders and have a lot more to lose so are far more risk averse and are more concerned about issues of security than increasing their agility," he said.

"They often don't trust the cloud and, while most firms will put non-critical applications in the cloud, there is resistance to putting critical investments in the cloud."

O'Donnell also noted that many larger companies use two cloud vendors for key services to provide resilience against potential outages.

"By running with two vendors if one fails there is still availability with the second. This may mitigate the cost savings, but enterprises are willing to do this to ensure continuity and data recovery," he said.

The V3 Virtual Cloud Summit is taking place all day on Tuesday 27 September, so if you haven't already, register here to attend the other sessions.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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