Cloud management company Appirio, seeing that most surveys on the subject of cloud computing focused on the industry as a whole, sponsored a survey of public cloud early adopters to see how they view the state of the public cloud. The results are quite interesting. Early adopters are downplaying problems like security risks, vendor lock-in and availability and reporting a change in the role of IT.

  • 23% found security to be somewhat or significantly worse. Fifty-three percent found security to be somewhat or significantly better. Presumably, 24% found security to be "about the same."
  • 12% found vendor lock-in to be somewhat or significantly worse, with 52% responding that the situation under cloud computing is actually better.
  • 8% thought availability was worse, with 63% saying it was better.

Respondents were most likely to cite security as the most common misperception about the cloud.

Although IT was seen as the biggest skeptics, and the biggest propagators of cloud misinformation, the role of IT is also seen as changing. "Cloud applications have long been portrayed as a way for business to get around IT, whereas 70% of cloud adopters actually report that IT was a driver in the decision-making process," the report says. "And they expect their role to only increase moving forward."

Survey respondents indicated mobile access, adoption and integration as their top challenges moving forward.

Also of interest, MIT's Technology Review did an article on how mobile and cloud computing is disrupting enterprise IT. The article notes how was adopted by sales and marketing staff at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Company after the company sprung for iPads. It also covers Pandora use of and Google Apps as a central integrators between various cloud services.