Security is powerful issue in relation to cloud adoption

Whilst this seems to confirm what many experts have been saying for some time, delving into the survey results reveals that security issues are holding back many companies from considering a move into the cloud.

For example, around half of the 105 respondents (49.5%) said their organisations were not using or planning to use any cloud technologies within the next 12 months.

The primary reason for this, they said, is `security concerns' (50%) with `budgetary restraints' (21.4%) also high up on the list.

Interestingly, the 2009 Launchpad Europe IT Security Index - full details of which will be announced next month - showed that respondents' top priority when considering a vendor of cloud services was `security of the cloud infrastructure,' with a top vote of 37.9%.

Commenting on the result of the survey, Mike Burkitt, Launchpad Europe's technical director, said that, whilst cloud computing remains high on the corporate agenda, organisations' concerns about cloud security will not go away overnight.

"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", he added.

According to Burkitt, for organisations with in-house technical capabilities and a good financial situation, the answer to their security fears may lay in the private cloud.

"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", he explained.

The survey not only revealed that respondents' top priority when considering cloud vendors being `security of the cloud infrastructure,' with a top vote of 37.9%, but also that  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%).

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