Security concerns influence organizational enthusiasm for adopting cloud technologies, says Launchpad Europe

Launchpad Europe IT Security Index 2009 reveals that security plays an important role in whether organizations will choose to adopt cloud technologies

Key findings:

● Half of respondents (49.5%) said their organizations were not using or planning to use any cloud technologies within the next 12 months

● "Security concerns" was the primary reason why organizations were not using the cloud (50%), followed by budgetary restraints (21.4%)

● Respondents' top priority when considering vendor of cloud services was "security of the cloud infrastructure," with the top vote of 37.9%.

by Michael Smith (Veshengro) from material via Omarketing Limited

London, UK – November 2009 – A survey by global business accelerator Launchpad Europe today revealed that security is the biggest reason why many organisations (49.5% of those surveyed) are not using or planning to use any cloud technologies within the next 12 months. Of the respondents who said their organisations were not planning to use cloud technologies within the next 12 months, 50% cited "security concerns" as the primary reason why. "Budgetary restraints" was the second-biggest reason for avoiding the cloud, with 21.4% of respondents claiming tight budgets precluded them from migrating to cloud-based services. Less than five percent claimed there was a lack of available cloud technology to meet their particular needs.

The Launchpad Europe IT Security Index 2009 covered the year's most pressing IT security issues, including data leakage, cloud security and the role of the trusted IT advisor. Respondents included 105 IT security experts from a range of industries worldwide.

The results suggest that security eclipses most other criteria when organizations are considering cloud services vendors. Respondents' top priority when considering cloud vendors was "security of the cloud infrastructure," with the top vote of 37.9%. Cloud infrastructure security was considered more important than due diligence and track record of the service provider (18.4%); security procedures in place to protect data center (12.6%); ease of exporting data from one vendor's service to a new service (including any hidden export fees) (11.7%); and legal terms when it came to ownership of data (6.8%).

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

"For organisations with in-house technical capabilities and a good financial situation, the answer to their security fears may lay in the private cloud," said Launchpad's Burkitt. "Developing your own cloud-based system gives you choice, power and flexibility. Many companies, including IBM, Novell, Unisys and others, have already begun reaping the financial, business and security benefits of tailoring their own private cloud environments."

Full results of the Launchpad Europe IT Security Index 2009 will be published in December.

The Launchpad Europe IT Security Index 2009 is intended to help understand how IT security professionals and their organizations approach and view current IT security challenges and opportunities.

There are four sections in the survey: security in the cloud, data leakage, managed services, and IT in the recession and the role of the trusted adviser.

The breakdown of respondents per geographic region was as follows:

UK - 29.9%

Mainland Europe - 12.6%

North America - 39.1%

South America - 1.1%

Middle East - 5.7%

Far East - 4.6%

Australasia – 6.9%

Full results of the research gathered in September, October and November 2009 will be published in December on the Launchpad Europe IT Security practice blog at:

Launchpad Europe is a global reaching company specialising in providing internationally focused organisations with a presence throughout Europe and beyond. Our service ranges from individual sales representation to building an entire, fully functional business entity.

Launchpad provides and supports the full range of:

● sales and marketing activities

● direct and indirect third party channel representation

● distribution

● technical backup and support services

● legal and financial advice

● HR functionality

However, and I assume that the survey, which will have been working with tick boxes, may not have covered aspects other than security, another reason for the lack of uptake of the “cloud” is the fact that many services have a clause in the EULA which lays claim to copyright of all materials stored with them online.

Now, as far as I am concerned, the copyright of material that I write and produce is mine and I am hardly going to share it with whichever online service provider and the same feelings, I am sure, are also shared by businesses that are concerned as to the “cloud”.

If I were a company I would not want to use the “cloud” for storage when the provider might be able, legally even, because I have signed the EULA (maybe, as many people do without reading all the small print) with the clause that they, due to me using their service, have a claim to a shared copyright of all of my materials, and the right, to use the material or the contents as and how and where they see fit for their own purposes. Methinks not.

This concern may outrank even the concerns out security of the cloud itself.

© 2009