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Survey: 1 in 3 'mission-critical' applications now in cloud

About 1 in 3 "mission-critical" applications are currently in the cloud, and this is expected to increase to 1 in 2 by 2015, according to a survey of 400 IT and business managers published today.

The IT and business managers, 200 of whom were from the U.S. and 200 from the United Kingdom, also revealed tensions in how choices about cloud-computing services are made. In many instances, business managers are going around IT, with only 38% of IT managers in the U.S. and 31% in the U.K. saying they were brought into the vendor selection and planning process when a business unit procured a cloud or software-as-a-service application outside the IT budget.

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The survey, sponsored by identity-management vendor SailPoint, also shows a disconnect in attitudes -- nearly one-third of business users describe support from IT in general as only "adequate," while IT managers were apt to describe their level of support as either "good or excellent."

The survey finds the primary "mission-critical apps" in the cloud fall into the general categories of storage and file-sharing, talent management and communications. But achieving identity management in the cloud has been proving elusive, with about 1 in 3 of the IT managers surveyed saying they could not provide a complete record of user access privileges within a day. And two-thirds of the IT managers said they were "not very confident" in their company's ability to prove the effectiveness of internal controls over access privileges in an IT audit.

About half of the IT managers in both the U.S. and U.K. acknowledged they are not confident that they can immediately grant or revoke access to key applications when an employee either joins or leaves the company. In addition, granting access privileges to employees is often slow, with only 1 in 8 U.S. businesses saying access rights can be set up on day one, compared to 1 in 6 in the U.K.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: emessmer@nww.com.


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