Security Risks, Cost Hamper Adoption of Cloud Computing, Survey Finds

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

While the majority of organizations have adopted cloud computing in some form, persistent fears of data security and concerns for return on investment (ROI) have an impact on adoption, a survey by Loudhouse finds.

An annual research report examining attitudes to cloud computing services amongst IT decision makers in U.K. and U.S. businesses, conducted by research firm Loudhouse and sponsored by cloud-based security specialist Mimecast, found that while a majority of organizations (51 percent) are now using some form of cloud computing service, concerns around cost and security hamper adoption.

The survey shows of those businesses using cloud services, 74 percent said the cloud has alleviated internal resource pressures, and 72 percent report an improved end-user experience. The survey found 73 percent have managed to reduce their infrastructure costs, while 57 percent of respondents said that the cloud has resulted in improved security. However, 74 percent of IT departments said they still believe that there is always a trade-off between cost and IT security and 62 percent said storing data on servers outside of the business is always a risk.

Mimecast CEO and co-founder Peter Bauer said the research shows there is a clear divide within the IT industry on the issue of cloud computing. "While those organizations that have embraced cloud services are clearly reaping the rewards, there are still a number who are put off by the 'cloud myths' around data security and the cost of replacing legacy IT," he said. "It is now up to cloud vendors to educate businesses and end users to ensure that these concerns do not overshadow the huge potential cost, security and performance benefits that cloud computing can bring."

One reason for the negative perceptions of cloud services among non-users seems to be a lack of clear communication from the industry itself: 54 percent of respondents said the potential benefits of cloud delivery models are overstated by the IT industry, while 58 percent of respondents thought that replacing legacy IT solutions will almost always cost more than the benefits of new IT.

Furthermore, nearly three quarters (74 percent) of IT departments agreed with the statement "there is always a trade-off between cost and IT security," which Bauer said suggests many organizations feel cloud solutions are less secure than the more expensive, on-premises alternatives, simply due to their lesser cost. Sixty-two percent believed storing data on servers outside of the business is a significant security risk.