Cloud adoption | public and hybrid services

Majority say cloud is as secure as on-premises IT, finds Claranet’s 2nd annual adoption survey

The continued adoption of cloud computing is being driven by greater public trust, Claranet’s second annual cloud adoption survey has found. The report, released today, finds that more than half (54 per cent) of respondents believe that cloud computing is as secure, or more secure than on-premises IT. In last year’s survey the same proportion said that Cloud was riskier than in-house IT, suggesting that 2012 was the turning point for public trust and acceptance of cloud computing.

The survey, which polled 250 IT decision-makers from a range of small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises and public sector organisations, found that almost two thirds (62 per cent) were using some form of cloud service, which tallies with similar recent research from the Cloud Industry Forum. Significantly however, Claranet’s research found markedly greater acceptance of public and hybrid cloud services in 2012.

A quarter of respondents (25 per cent) in this year’s research reported using public cloud infrastructure, as compared to only 15 per cent in 2011. Meanwhile, almost one in three (29 per cent) said that they used a public-private hybrid, an increase of 21 per cent over the last twelve months.

Claranet’s UK Managing Director, Michel Robert, said that the results showed that the industry was making significant progress to allay the public’s legitimate concerns over security, which has traditionally been one of the main barriers to adoption.

In late 2011, more than half of respondents said that cloud computing services posed a greater security risk than in-house infrastructure, with only a third saying that it was an equivalent risk,” said Robert. “Those figures are now 46 per cent and 44 per cent respectively, which shows a narrowing of the gap on trust. These figures are supported by the significant growth in the take-up of hybrid and public cloud infrastructure. This suggests that the industry is growing more successful in reassuring customers about their main worries over public cloud, which last year’s research found to be reliability, data security and ease of migration.

“While these figures are encouraging for the industry there is, however, work to be done,” continued Robert. “Significant numbers of respondents said they had security concerns about cloud computing, with four of the most-cited worries being third-party access to data and issues with data migration, technical issues beyond their control, and data location. These match closely with the factors identified from 2011, signalling to the industry that more needs to be done to address these concerns.”

Robert said that providers who met these worries head-on would reap the benefits from customers, current and future, pointing to the success of Claranet’s own Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering, the Virtual Data Centre (VDC).

“Last month marked the first anniversary of Claranet’s VDC, and we have won a number of major awards for the service,” said Robert. “The service has been judged by panels of industry experts, analysts and end-users, and has been consistently praised not just for its capabilities, but also because it was specifically designed to address the legitimate concerns of end-users. This needs to be the philosophy of any cloud service provider and I think that we, as an industry, are making progress away from the days of ‘cloudwash’, into an era of greater transparency and better service.”

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