Partners that don’t offer consultative and access brokerage services are missing out on revenue.

Lorna Garey

April 14, 2016

3 Min Read

Lorna GareyIntel Security on Thursday released a report based on a survey of 1,200 IT decision-makers with responsibility for cloud security. The poll asked about cloud investment priorities, and the results show both opportunity and challenge for the channel.

A top-level finding: Eighty percent of respondent organizations’ IT budgets will be spent on cloud services in less than 18 months. And we’re not talking just SaaS — the highest percentage of use (81 percent) is actually for IaaS, compared with 60 percent for SaaS.

Intel Security's Richard SterankaA key factor in companies tapping the brakes, no surprise, is security. Just 13 percent say they completely trust public cloud services, even though just 23 percent have actually experienced data loss or breaches with their cloud providers. Difficulty migrating services or data (27 percent), high costs and fees/poor value (25 percent) and lack of visibility into cloud-provider operations (25 percent) affected more respondents.

Still, Richard Steranka, SVP of global channel operations at Intel Security, told Channel Partners that the security industry needs to do more.

“Businesses and governments are just beginning to see the true power of cloud computing and the role it will play in moving them forward,” said Steranka. “As vendors, we have to arm partners and end customers with better education to trust in the cloud and advance its adoption.”

Specifically, he says the industry must prioritize proactive defense.{ad}

Survey respondents hail from North America, Europe, Brazil and Australia, with the United States the largest single source, and from companies ranging from 251 employees to more than 5,000. They weighed in on cloud-adoption plans across SaaS, IaaS and PaaS in public, private and hybrid setups, as well as trust in security-as-a-service offerings.

Other results of interest to the channel include: 

  • Regulated industries have special needs: Seventy-two percent of respondents list compliance as the primary concern across all types of cloud deployments, but just 13 percent know whether their organizations even store sensitive data in the cloud. That calls for both education and a data-classification program. Only 34 percent of respondents feel senior management in their organizations fully understand the security implications of the cloud.

  • Shadow IT is clearly still a problem: Fifty-two percent say lines of business still expect IT to secure their unauthorized, department-sourced cloud services. In 23 percent of cases, departments actually …


  • … source their own security without the help of IT.

  • If you don’t offer a cloud-access security broker service, you should: Gartner says CASBs are a high-growth area — by 2020, the consultancy predicts that 85 percent of large enterprises will use a cloud access security broker product, up from fewer than 5 percent today. Intel Security’s poll found that 36 percent of respondent organizations use using CASB services to protect their SaaS applications, and 32 percent use these services to monitor shadow IT-procured cloud implementations. That makes sense; CASBs act as policy-enforcement gatekeepers.

The report is available now for free download and includes insights from the Cloud Security Alliance and SANS. Intel Security, which in 2014 changed its name from McAfee Security, bundles a variety of products under a Security Connected framework and has reseller and MSP partner programs under recently appointed channel chief Ken McCray, who says that his priorities are providing solutions to solve and automate customers’ security challenges, focusing sales and executive engagement on mutual goals, and engaging in financially rewarding opportunities that exceed corporate objectives. Next month Channel Partners will report from the Intel Security Americas Partner Summit, which the company this year unbundled from its larger FOCUS event.

Later today, attendees at Intel’s Security Through Innovation Summit can attend a session discussing the report’s implications for federal government cloud deployments.

Follow executive editor @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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