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Survey Finds Legacy Tech Hinders Cloud Adoption

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Nearly 35 percent of C-level executives said that “a significant investment” in legacy infrastructure is stalling their adoption of cloud computing technologies, according to a new survey by the non-profit IT Governance Institute (ITGI).

However, that concern is only the fourth highest concern on executives’ minds when it comes to computing in the cloud.

In fact, concern about data privacy is the biggest red light for executives — with 49.6 percent — followed by questions about security at 47.2 percent, and reliability with 41.7 percent.

The survey of 834 executives, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs, and IT executives, in 21 countries, was conducted by ITGI, international governance association ISACA’s research affiliate. (Founded in 1969, ISACA was formerly named the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.)

Entitled “Global Status Report on the Governance of Enterprise IT (GEIT) — 2011,” the January 2011 survey report is the fourth the organization has released since 2004, ISACA said online. The survey was primarily conducted during the third quarter of 2010, an ITGI spokesperson told

Despite all of the reasons executives cite, though — security, privacy, reliability, and legacy infrastructure — these reasons aren’t slowing a move to the cloudby the majority of respondents.

“Amongst all respondents who indicated that they are fully or partly outsourcing at least one of their IT activities, more than 60 percent are planning to use cloud computing for non-mission-critical IT systems [while] more than 40 percent plan to use it for mission-critical IT systems,” the survey report(as PDF) said.

Among other data that stands out, the survey found that 93 percent are already fully or partially outsourcing some of their IT activities.

Meanwhile, the leading initiatives that executives plan over the next 12 months came in a nearly three-way tie.

“Major system implementations or upgrades” came in first with 45.7 percent, followed by “IT cost reduction initiatives with 45.3 percent,” and “data or information initiatives” with 44.5 percent.

Behind it all, though, the focus needs to be on governance, a member of the team that created the report said.

“The most important thing is [that] governance is critical for companies to realign IT with the business against the backdrop of today’s economic environment,” Nicky Tiesenga, ITGI survey project team member, told

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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