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Cloud adoption hindered by concerns about security, privacy and lack of control, survey finds

The main obstacles to UK organisations adopting cloud-based IT services are concerns about data privacy, security and losing control over their IT infrastructure, a survey has found.

The research by cloud computing industry body the Cloud Industry Forum said cloud providers need to be "responsible, accountable and transparent" to address those concerns.

Of the 250 senior IT and business decision makers in the UK the CIF surveyed, 70% said data security was one of their biggest concerns when deciding whether to move to cloud-based services, up from 61% last year. The new survey found that data privacy is another of the biggest concerns for 61% of UK organisations considering cloud-based IT solutions. Last year, data privacy was identified as one of organisations' biggest cloud concerns by 54% of survey respondents.

The CIF survey found that 40% of UK organisations also have concerns about "losing control/manageability of their IT systems". Fewer than a quarter of UK organisations (24%) expressed similar concerns last year, CIF said.

Alex Hilton, chief executive of CIF, said that most organisations are likely to adopt a hybrid approach to their IT estate "for the foreseeable future", where they outsource some IT services to cloud providers but maintain out IT functions in-house. The majority of organisations are "either not yet ready to move everything to the cloud, or unwilling to", Hilton said.

"There are a number of contributing factors here: fear of losing control of IT systems, security and privacy concerns, and lack of budget currently stand in the way of greater adoption of cloud by businesses," Hilton said. "The primary issue relates to trust: trust that cloud-based data will be appropriately secured, that it won’t be compromised or inadvertently accessed, and that businesses will be able to retrieve and migrate their data when a contract terminates."

CIF recently won EU recognition for the information security procedures it has put in place for cloud providers that sign up to its code of practice.

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