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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

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.