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Survey: IT Professionals Turn to Cloud-Based IT Applications to Reduce Management Headaches

Cloud-Based Web Hosting, Backup and Security Applications See Strong Adoption Levels as IT Professionals Streamline Operations

AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 09/25/13 -- Spiceworks, the vertical network for IT, today released the results of a new survey analyzing how IT professionals utilize cloud-based applications to do their jobs. The study, "Look Ma, No Hardware" revealed that the use of cloud-based backup, security and web hosting applications continues to grow as IT professionals look for ways to automate and offload management tasks that rob IT departments of valuable time and resources. The independent report is sponsored by EarthLink Business®, an IT and communications provider.

"The challenge of maintaining specialized hardware and software is clearly driving IT professionals to cloud-based IT applications," said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT program manager at Spiceworks. "Vendors who can deliver the capabilities of traditional hardware/software solutions in a cost effective manner have a great opportunity to address the needs of IT professionals."

According to the survey, 70 percent of IT professionals are utilizing cloud-based web hosting applications with an additional three percent planning to use a web hosting service in the next six months. Sixty and 30 percent of respondents are using cloud-based security and backup applications respectively. While online backup solutions showed the lowest adoption rates, 13 percent of respondents said they plan to implement an offering in the next six months.

Additional highlights include:

Online backup adoption lags but its upside is highest among services

  • The research shows that of the 43 percent who have or plan to deploy a cloud-based backup solution, nearly 75 percent have already or will back up more than 100 gigabytes of data to the cloud. In fact, 33 percent of respondents have or plan to back up more than 1 terabyte of data to the cloud.
  • When asked to detail the primary benefits and challenges associated with cloud-based backup services, 84 percent noted that "local disaster protection" was a significant benefit with "lack of offsite tape hassles" and "ease of use" selected by 64 and 57 percent of respondents respectively. Fifty-nine percent of respondents who aren't using a cloud-based backup solution said "heavy bandwidth requirements" were a concern, followed by 48 percent who said "risk of data loss/security breach" was barrier to adoption.

Security services go mainstream with mobility security becoming top of mind

  • IT professionals are using a variety of cloud-based security applications to protect their networks and end users. Anti-spam solutions are used by 41 percent of respondents, followed by content filtering at 27 percent and anti-virus at 22 percent. More advanced security applications including mobile policy management and mobile anti-virus are poised for growth in the next six months.
  • Seventy-six percent of IT professionals cited "no need for special hardware to maintain" as the primary benefit of cloud-based security solutions. Additionally, "automatic software updates" and "ease of management" were referenced by 63 percent of IT professionals respectively.
  • When asked about their concerns, IT professionals not using a cloud-based security solution said the "lack of control over solution components," "risk of relying on third parties to deliver critical services," and "bandwidth requirements" were the primary barriers to adoption.

Web hosting applications seen as a no-brainer for IT professionals

  • According to the survey, 70 percent of IT professionals use a web hosting solution. Of these, 70 percent are very or extremely satisfied with their web hosting vendor.
  • Like the security category, "no special hardware to maintain" was the primary benefit of cloud-based web hosting offerings according to 69 percent of respondents, followed by "cost-effectiveness" and "ease of management."
  • However, 41 percent of IT professionals not using a cloud-based web hosting solution did cite a "lack of control over infrastructure" as a primary concern. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said there was risk associated with "relying on third parties," and 34 percent said a "lack of control over service availability" was a potential issue.

EarthLink executive vice president of Sales and Marketing Michael D. Toplisek said, "The results of this Spiceworks study reaffirm what we hear every day from our business customers across all industries. A cloud-based IT infrastructure enables IT leaders to leverage this virtual infrastructure to control numerous applications, extend secure access to employees and satisfy audit requirements. Cloud-based web hosting applications, such as the EarthLink's 365+ collaboration suite, now provide mid-sized businesses with an enterprise-class service, so there is no compromise on functionality."

The survey included more than 600 respondents from North America and EMEA. Sixty eight percent of respondents were from North America and 32 percent from EMEA. The majority of those surveyed work in organizations with less than 1,000 employees and are among the more than 2.6 million IT professionals in the Spiceworks Community.

Spiceworks and Voice of IT are registered trademarks of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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