Canadians are confused about cloud computing.
A Microsoft Canada survey conducted by Leger Marketing polled Canadian C-level executives across all sectors and found that 19% of those who say they are not currently using cloud services were in fact using them. The data also revealed that those who are not using cloud-based services (67%) admit they don't know enough to make major decisions about it.
"This confusion comes as no surprise because 'Cloud' can refer to a wide variety of different services," says John Weigelt, National Technology Officer for Microsoft Canada. "The market is rife with misinformation and myths surrounding cloud computing, and Canadian businesses are losing out as a result. The truth is that the cloud can deliver huge benefits such as cost-savings, increased productivity and greater efficiency, but businesses don't know where to start."
Security and privacy are the top two barriers for entry into cloud computing for organizations.
"Many businesses are already in the cloud whether they know it or not," says John. "It's time to take stock of what is already used in-house and consider what other cloud technologies can be introduced. Only by understanding the principles, technology and processes associated with Cloud computing, will Canadian businesses be able to reap the rewards and unlock the potential that cloud offers."
Many Canadian businesses also don't realize they have a choice between public or private cloud solutions or a combination of both.
"It's important that businesses become more knowledgeable about cloud computing and understand that they can have both privacy and functionality," said Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario. "With proper privacy protections designed into the system from the very beginning of its lifecycle, and integrated at every system layer, businesses can gain the huge financial and competitive advantages of cloud and ensure security."
"Every organization's journey to the cloud will be unique. Some organizations will call for customized, dedicated cloud resources, while others will benefit most from the massive scale of the public cloud," says John. "In many cases, a hybrid approach is the answer, providing the freedom to select services from where they will most benefit the organization and even move back and forth at will."
"At the University of Toronto, we are implementing Microsoft Live@edu email and software service for all of our 70,000 students to simplify online collaboration and document sharing, while keeping students' data private and promoting online safety," said Robert Cook, Chief Information Office, University of Toronto. "This cloud-based service helps the university reduce costs through lower IT management and hosting fees, allowing us to divert resources back into the core of our academic mission. Our students benefit from improved communication and collaboration and are equipped with the tools for success in both their academic pursuits and future careers."