APAC firms prefer hybrid cloud, data privacy top concern

Enterprises in Asia-Pacific favor mix of private and public cloud, while pure-public cloud deployment least preferred due to perception such implementation lacks security, reveals new survey.

An increasing number of organizations in the Asia-Pacific region are opting for the hybrid cloud model, with more conservative industries preferring private clouds, reveals new study which points to public cloud deployment as the least preferred option.

According to a report titled "Cloud Computing in Asia-Pacific: The Annual Cloud Maturity Index", the number of companies deploying hybrid cloud in the region increased from 38 percent last year to 41 percent this year.

Conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of VMware, the study--which is in its second year--was based on interviews with 6,141 senior business and IT decision makers from eight Asia-Pacific countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Respondents were from companies in various verticals including technology, government, financial services, healthcare, transport and retail.

"Enterprises are looking to the hybrid cloud model to provide business agility and efficiency, without compromising data sovereignty and privacy," said Andrew Dutton, senior vice president and general manager of VMware Asia-Pacific Japan. "The availability of a common cloud infrastructure platform, with a common management model and application services that bridge private and public clouds to deliver seamless data and application portability, will be critical to the success of cloud implementations."

According to the study, 32 percent of respondents preferred private cloud implementations. This preference was more prevalent in the financial and insurance sectors.

Public cloud was found to be the least popular with a majority of respondents viewing the platform as less secure when managing corporate data and application. When adopted, public clouds were commonly used for applications such as Web conferencing, instant messaging, collaboration and e-mail.

The survey findings also painted an optimistic picture of cloud adoption in the region. Close to 90 percent of respondents saw cloud computing as relevant to their business.

The use of cloud services had increased compared to last year, with 64 percent of respondents indicating they were either using or planning to implement cloud initiatives, up from 59 percent in 2010.

Australia led in adoption with 43 percent of companies already implemented or implementing cloud projects. Korea and China led in adoption plans where 48 percent and 46 percent, respectively, indicating plans to adopt cloud computing in the next 18 months.

Data privacy overtakes security as top concern
According to the study, data privacy was the main roadblock impeding the adoption of cloud computing with 74 percent of respondents citing it as a concern. In comparison, security was the top concern last year.

Integration with existing systems was also among the top concerns with 68 percent of respondents pointing to this as a barrier. Other concerns included fear of vendor lock-in at 59 percent, the lack of interoperability across clouds at 57 percent, while immature cloud management featured at 57 percent.

Zooming in on the respondents from Singapore, the study found that 63 percent--an increase of 10 percentage points over last year--were either currently using or actively planning cloud initiatives.

Across the island-state, telcos and government agencies led in the implementation of cloud initiatives, while education and manufacturing companies led by way of planned deployments, said the report.