Security fears hold back cloud computing

Many businesses have expressed lingering doubts about the security and reliability of cloud computing despite forging ahead with plans to buy software and services online.

Many businesses have expressed lingering doubts about the security and reliability of cloud computing despite forging ahead with plans to buy software and services online.

More than three quarters of 200 UK CIOs and CFOs surveyed by managed hosting specialist NTT Europe Online cited these concerns, along with the immaturity of the delivery model, as the main reasons for not adopting cloud computing.

"What is quite evident from our research is that CIOs and CFOs are crying out for the capex vs opex benefits that can be delivered by cloud-based and managed hosted solutions," said Rob Steggles, marketing director for Europe at NTT.

The model was still in early adopter phase he said, adding, "If the security and reliability concerns can be ironed out, cloud computing has a bright future - but until then, it will continue to be work in progress."

The research indicated 60% of organisations were more likely to buy web-based software and services due to the recession but 68% wanted to avoid long term IT contracts which is widely acknowledged as benefit of the cloud.

Forty per cent said wanted to see cost savings of 10% to 20% before investing in the model, and though 44% did not believe the cloud was hype, less than half of those planned to spend 6% to 15% of their IT budgets on it in the next two years.

Steegles said "Cloud has become a technical sell rather than a business and operational discussion, which is where the value really lies."

"There is certainty demand for online software and service delivery within a secure hosted environment or using a 'private cloud' infrastructure, but in a practical sense the classic shared cloud computing model seems not to be on the board's agenda."

Businesses like the cost benefits of a shared environment but providers needed to prove the delivery model was "fit for purpose" said Chris Gabriel, head of solutions at Logicalis.

"The cloud needs to be better defined to assuage users fears about the resilience and security of the architecture," he added.

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