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Blog Archives for May 2011
Ponemon Releases Cloud Service Provider Study
May 2, 2011, 4:51 pm

Last week with CA Technologies we issued the results of a study of cloud service providers and their views on cloud security. There has been a lot of interest in this study. Readers have reviewed the results and responded with some very good questions and comments. In a nutshell, people – including us – were surprised by the results, which showed that cloud providers didn’t put security as the No. 1 concern in providing their services.

As a result, we have had some questions about “who” we polled for this study beyond the information provided in the study. People were curious as to whether or not we had some of the large public cloud providers in our study, and I will try to clear things up here.

Our unit of analysis is the IT practitioner who self-reported that he or she is employed by organizations that provide cloud services.  As a member of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), we uphold strict data confidentiality, privacy  and ethical research standards. Therefore, we do not collect any personally identifiable information or company identifiable information in our research. However, as shown below , we do ask respondents to report such demographics as the approximate size of their organizations using employee headcount and their organizational level.

 Table 6 , taken from our report, shows that 58 percent of respondents from the U.S. work in organizations with more than 1,000 employees, and 50 percent of respondents work in companies of that size for the Europe sample. The respondents represented both large and small service providers. While we do not collect company identifiable information about the cloud providers and cannot tell you their names, based on responses we had representation from very large organizations.

Table 6: Worldwide headcount of respondents’ organization?

US

Europe

Less than 500 people

23%

29%

500 to 1,000 people

19%

21%

1,001 to 5,000 people

28%

16%

5,001 to 10,000 people

20%

27%

10,001 to 25,000 people

4%

0%

25,001 to 75,000 people

4%

0%

More than 75,000 people

2%

7%

Total

100%

100%

 

As you can see from Table 3 below, also from our report, we started with a broad pool to get a statistically significant response rate that is representative of the population of IT practitioners working in organizations providing cloud computing services. Most of our respondents were directors, managers, supervisors or technicians – so folks in the trenches, watching how things operate day-to-day, on up to management (see Table 4 below).

Further respondent data includes:

Table 3: Sample response

US

Europe

Organizations

 1,180

 263

Contacts made (by phone)

 879

 240

Returned surveys

 130

 32

Rejections for reliability

 27

 8

Final sample

 103

 24

And

Table 4: Respondents’ organizational level

US

Europe

Senior Executive

2%

5%

Vice President

2%

5%

Director

28%

30%

Manager

16%

22%

Supervisor

10%

0%

Staff or technician

39%

26%

Contractor or other

3%

12%

Total

100%

100%

This isn’t our first look at cloud security and I’m sure it won’t be the last as we move forward into the shifting computing paradigm. And as we continue our work, the Ponemon Institute will  operate with the utmost integrity and transparency as we help industry uncover the emerging trends affecting the security and privacy sector. 

 

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