MicroScope: Claranet sounds warning over cloud worries

Customer concerns about security and data integrity in the cloud have not been fully addressed by the IT industry.

According to surveys by Claranet and IT recruiters Robert Half, the little was achieved last year in addressing users concerns about cloud migration.

“The similarity between the two sets of research, conducted some nine months apart, shows how difficult the cloud industry is finding it to answers customers’ concerns about cloud computing,” warned Michel Robert, Claranet’s UK managing director.

Claranet’s poll of 300 senior IT decision-makers late in 2011 showed data security was the main worry, with 46% of respondents revealing they were afraid of losing in-house control over systems and data.

The same proportion in the Robert Half survey conducted in June 2012 also raised security as the biggest issue in adopting the cloud and a quarter of all respondents said they had no plans to move because of a mixture of security, service continuity and ease of management.

In Claranet’s research, 35% said service reliability and 28% said ‘confidence over where data is stored’ were their biggest concerns.

“End users are continuing to cite these same areas of concern, which suggests either that there are too few services out there in the market that provide solutions to these problems, or that there has been a collective communications failure by the industry,” continued Robert.

“In truth, the answers to these legitimate concerns are simple to understand and to communicate. To solve the issue of data sovereignty or integrity, providers must show that customers’ data is not stored in facilities and jurisdictions lacking rigorous safeguards. Service providers, therefore, need to guarantee that their customers’ applications and information is only stored in local, in-country data centres.”

Robert pointed to the issue of reliability as another commonly cited barrier that can be easily overcome.

“Again, the answer is simple: cloud providers either need to invest in their own network and integrate it into the service, or else they should partner with network providers to offer an holistic service where network provision forms an integral part.

“While cloud computing is never going to be perfectly suited to every organisation, a quarter of IT directors dismissing it out of hand is surely too great a proportion for the industry to ignore.” concluded Robert.

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