When it comes to moving some in-house applications to a third-party cloud computing service provider, the majority of IT professionals prefer email over other apps, though some say unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools are best.
Those are the results of the latest Enterprise Conversation poll, which asked IT administrators what apps they would want to move to a third-party service provider to improve performance. The poll (based on a recent blog post) drew responses from 75 participants. The most popular choice was email -- 31 percent said it is the one application they would move to a cloud provider to increase performance. UC and collaboration tools also received a strong response but came in a distant second, with 17 percent.
It's not surprising that many IT professionals are willing to let someone else host email for the company. A third-party provider can provide additional resources and storage for archived mail, and these services can provide the necessary backup in case of a disaster.
Though companies are willing to let someone else handle email, they are less willing to let go of prized applications. That's where issues of security and reliability come into play. Sam Barnett, an analyst with Infonetics Research, told us for our blog post on app performance:
What we found in our study is that there is tremendous interest in moving select applications to cloud facilities where performance and flexibility beyond that which internal infrastructure can provide is required. So, it's not really about replacing internal facilities with the cloud, but rather rightsizing them.
That sentiment also seems to hold true with poll participants. One reader, Compunite, wrote in a comment that the disaster recovery aspect helped in his decision to use cloud computing. "It is safer in the cloud then in someone's office that can burn, get flooded or just loose power. Just be careful with whom you share your data trust with."
In addition to email, collaboration, and UC tools, readers picked productivity apps (such as Microsoft Office) as something that could deliver better performance in the cloud. Here’s how the results broke down:
- Email: 31 percent
- Collboration and UC tools: 17 percent
- Productivity apps: 15 percent
- We're still deciding: 15 percent
- None at this time: 9 percent
- In-house SaaS apps: 8 percent
- HR and payroll apps: 4 percent
- Security: 1 percent
Readers can still take part in the Enterprise Conversation poll and leave their comments and opinions.