Many businesses are still reluctant to move sensitive data into an outsourced datacentre, according to analyst Gartner.
The findings, based on Gartner's latest annual survey of the state of risk management programmes globally, show that many companies are avoiding the use of software as a service (SaaS) for critical or sensitive data.
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While the industry is pushing the benefits of cloud computing, especially for running disaster recovery and archiving, many people are still wary of handing over sensitive data to a third-party. Gartner research vice president, Jay Heiser, said, "While fault tolerance is a feature of many such offerings, we consider it premature to assume that mission-critical data is safer in a cloud than in a traditional datacentre in which buyers usually make very specific choices about how data will be backed up."
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While people are reluctant to trust software as a service providers due to security concerns, according to Gartner’s study, the most dramatic change over the past three years is the increased willingness for businesses to use infrastructure as a service and platform as a service for sensitive data.
One-fifth of respondents have a policy against using cloud platform services for sensitive data or processes, which is down significantly from the one-third that had a policy against it three years ago. In its 2009 survey, Gartner said, people were more willing to use SaaS for sensitive situations, but this began to change in 2010.
So the people Gartner surveyed are less concerned about putting sensitive data into using an IaaS or PaaS provider than they were three years ago. This may be because Iaas and Paas are effectively lower-level services, where users have more control over where their sensitive data is stored.
Gartner’s research is based on surveying 425 respondents from IT risk management disciplines in the US, UK, Germany and Canada.