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Security Is Chief Obstacle To Cloud Computing Adoption, Study Says

Half of organizations say they have no plans to use cloud technology; many cite security concerns
Nearly half of organizations say they have no plans to use any cloud computing technologies in the next year -- and security concerns are the chief reason why.

That's the conclusion of a survey that will be published next month by Launchpad Europe, a company that helps emerging firms with global business expansion.

In the survey, 49.5 percent of businesses said they are not using or planning to use any cloud technologies within the next 12 months. Of that group, 50 percent cited "security concerns" as the primary reason.

"Budgetary restraints" was the second-biggest reason for avoiding the cloud -- 21.4 percent of respondents said tight budgets precluded them from migrating to cloud-based services. Less than 5 percent cited a lack of available cloud technology to meet their particular needs.

The results suggest security eclipses most other criteria when organizations are considering cloud services vendors, Launchpad Europe said. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said their top priority when considering cloud vendors was "security of the cloud infrastructure."

The security issue was considered more important than due diligence and track record of the service provider (18.4 percent); security procedures in place to protect the data center (12.6 percent); ease of exporting data from one vendor's service to a new service (11.7 percent); and legal terms surrounding ownership of data (6.8 percent).

"While cloud computing remains high on the corporate agenda, organizations' concerns about cloud security will not go away overnight," says 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."

So-called "private clouds" might be the answer for companies that have the resources to build them, Burkett suggests.

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