A new survey of IT professionals shows that lack of training and overall understanding—along with lingering security concerns—is still a hindrance to broader cloud adoption.

“Security, while a top concern, is not the highest inhibitor,” said Peder Ulander, chief marketing officer for cloud software developer Cloud.com, which conducted the survey in conjunction with two of its partners, management software developer Zenoss and cross-platform cloud deployment company BitRock. “The biggest inhibitor is education.”

The survey was conducted by polling members of the communities that surround each company’s open source projects (CloudStack, Zenoss Core and BitNami). Of the 500 IT pros among the respondents, 40 percent were CTOs.

“There is huge demand for private cloud, yet there’s this gap in understanding,” Ulander said. “The better we can do to educate, and be a trusted advisor, the more rapid adoption I think we will see.”

Ulander added that although a lot of organizations have virtualized their IT infrastructure, utilization of that infrastructure is still low—again, he said, a sign that IT pros are not fully educated on how to make the most of their investments.

“They’re still only using half of the hardware they deploy,” he said. “Cloud is not just virtualization, but resource management and elasticity as well.”

Other highlights of the survey results included:

  • 61 percent of organizations are in the information-gathering or planning stages or have an approved cloud computing strategy (but no implementation).
  • 20 percent have cloud implementations.
  • 20 percent have no cloud computing plans at this point.
  • Hardware savings was the number one reason cited for adopting cloud computing (68 percent), followed by faster deployment of infrastructure (66 percent) and reduction of the IT management burden (57 percent).
  • Of the surveyed CTOs, scalability was the most popular reason for adopting cloud computing (71 percent) followed by elasticity—the need to adjust to fluctuations in resource demands (61 percent).
  •  69 percent of respondents are using open source software.
A summary of the report can be downloaded  here.