Security Concerns Influence Organisational Enthusiasm for Adopting Cloud Technologies

A survey by Launchpad Europe reveals that security is the biggest reason why many organisations (49.5% of those surveyed) are not using or planning to use any cloud technologies within the next 12 months. Of the respondents who said their organisations were not planning to use cloud technologies within the next 12 months, 50% cited "security concerns" as the primary reason why. "Budgetary restraints" was the second-biggest reason for avoiding the cloud, with 21.4% of respondents claiming tight budgets precluded them from migrating to cloud-based services. Less than five percent claimed there was a lack of available cloud technology to meet their particular needs.

The Launchpad Europe IT Security Index 2009 covered the year's most pressing IT security issues, including data leakage, cloud security and the role of the trusted IT advisor. Respondents included 105 IT security experts from a range of industries worldwide.

The results suggest that security eclipses most other criteria when organisations are considering cloud services vendors. Respondents' top priority when considering cloud vendors was "security of the cloud infrastructure", with the top vote of 37.9%. Cloud infrastructure security was considered more important than due diligence and track record of the service provider (18.4%); security procedures in place to protect data centre (12.6%); ease of exporting data from one vendor's service to a new service (including any hidden export fees) (11.7%); and legal terms when it came to ownership of data (6.8%).

"While cloud computing remains high on the corporate agenda, organisations' concerns about cloud security will not go away overnight", said Mike Burkitt, technical director of Launchpad Europe. "Before businesses will feel comfortable transitioning to cloud-based services, they first need to be convinced that the business benefits of the cloud outweigh the security risks and that goes for both service providers and the cloud infrastructure itself."

"For organisations with in-house technical capabilities and a good financial situation, the answer to their security fears may lay in the private cloud", said Launchpad's Burkitt. "Developing your own cloud-based system gives you choice, power and flexibility. Many companies, including IBM, Novell, Unisys and others, have already begun reaping the financial, business and security benefits of tailoring their own private cloud environments."

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