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Cloud barriers: a failure of technology or communication?

Interxion, a Netherlands-based data center provider, has published details of a Europe-wide survey of current and intended cloud usage. The results are unsurprising: increased use of the cloud is high on corporate agendas, but would happen sooner were it not for worries about security, and concern over being locked into a particular vendor.

The main cloud drivers are cost (67% of respondents), flexibility (54%) and scalability (41%). The precise importance of these drivers, however, differs between corporate sizes: reduced infrastructure cost is more important to larger companies than smaller companies, while flexibility and scalability are more important to smaller companies.

The biggest inhibitors are seen to be concern over security and SLAs (45%), fear of being locked into specific vendors (40%), and regulatory concerns (39%).

Within security, the overall biggest concerns are preventing data loss (71%) and preventing outages (64%). In detail, however, larger companies are more concerned about keeping security up-to-date, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Interxion believes that none of the inhibitors or concerns are insurmountable, and that with better communication data center providers can demonstrate satisfactory solutions. European data protection worries are solved by infrastructures designed and segmented to keep data within specified geographic areas. However, the company notes that “the US Patriot Act is becoming a growing concern for cloud service providers that want to do business with multinational corporations headquartered in the US.”

Furthermore, advances in virtualization technologies can help maintain up-to-date security and simplify disaster recovery and business continuity in hosted private clouds.

Since most of the perceived barriers and concerns about cloud adoption can be largely solved, it seems that the real inhibitor to cloud adoption is the failure of current cloud providers to adequately communicate their solutions.

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