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Source: PrivaTech Consulting

Posted on December 5, 2011

A recently released Microsoft Canada survey conducted by Leger Marketing found that Canadian businesses are unclear when it comes to cloud computing. This confusion comes as no surprise because "cloud" can refer to a wide variety of different services. Simply put, the cloud is a network-based way to cost-effectively process, manage and stall data.

The survey indicated security and privacy are the top two barriers for entry into cloud computing for organizations including government and healthcare, whereas security and reliability (data loss) are the major barriers for private sectors. However, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario, has said, "It's important that businesses become more knowledgeable about cloud computing and understand that they can have both privacy and functionality."

Many Canadian businesses also don't realize they have a choice between adopting public or private cloud solutions or a combination of both, called a hybrid approach, allowing businesses to select services from locations where they make the most sense. A private cloud can be managed in-house or by a third party, with data hosted on or off-site, whereas public cloud is an infrastructure made available to the general public or a large industry group, owned by a vendor providing cloud services.

"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 Weigelt, National Technology Officer for Microsoft Canada. "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."

Canadian organizations are beginning to take advantage of the cloud for their service delivery initiatives, reaping the benefits of the low-cost, low-management and flexible cloud offerings.

The Leger Marketing survey polled Canadian C-level executives across all sectors and found that 19 per cent of those who indicated they are not currently using cloud services were in fact leveraging cloud computing solutions and services like Microsoft Web Apps, Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure.

The survey was completed using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 705 Canadian businesses/organizations across all sectors/industries and with a minimum of five computers in use in their individual installed bases.

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