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IT Leaders Say the Definition of “Cloud” is Foggy, Finds TEKsystems

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About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

HANOVER, MD – May 23, 2012 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, finds that IT leaders’ understanding of what the term “cloud” encompasses is mostly undefined. While 78% of IT leaders indicate the term cloud includes web services, 70% also believe cloud encompasses Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), 62% indicate it could also pertain to hosting an application outside of their data center and 59% indicate it could also pertain to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

“The dream of cloud computing comes from the hopes of creating a virtual mainframe where everyone and everything can communicate together from anywhere,” says global-services Vice President, Randy Verdino. “It sounds simple enough, but ambiguity occurs when you start looking at public vs. private clouds, best data storage practices, allocating computing resources to meet application demand and supporting geographic distribution of virtual computing resources.”

Most IT leaders are unsure about which applications they could move to a cloud-based platform. Forty-one percent of IT leaders indicate data storage is the application they are most interested in moving to the cloud. Less than one third of IT leaders express interest in relocating messaging applications (32%), enterprise portals (32%), conferencing tools (30%) and CRM systems (30%).

“The size and magnitude of cloud environments coupled with ambiguity as to its definition, causes challenges about where to start and what needs to move first. Many businesses will be taking a phase-oriented approach which usually starts with addressing the shared storage of data,” states Verdino. “Once you determine where to start, another challenge arises – who is going to figure out what to do and how to get it done?”

The primary role of a Cloud Architect is to determine what needs to be done to implement a cloud solution and then how to implement it. Seventy-four percent of IT leaders define a cloud architect as a person who designs enterprise architecture that contains cloud and non-cloud based applications.

“Cloud Architects have unique skills that allow them to navigate high impact projects that require extremely technical capabilities with strong business understanding. Because of the impact the cloud could have on businesses, we’re already seeing demand for these professionals and this will only continue to increase as more and more enterprises start phasing in cloud based solutions.”

About the Survey
TEKsystems partners with the Inavero Institute to conduct surveys of more than 1,500 IT leaders. The second quarter 2012 online survey was completed by IT decision makers during March of 2012. IT managers and directors represented the majority of survey respondents at 77%, and IT executives made up 23% of responses. IT leaders represented all industries, regions and company sizes.