Some CIOs are reticent to rely on the cloud. The high cost of a data loss means executives decide to keep information within the enterprise firewall. However, a change in stance is taking place - and many business leaders recognise the cloud is actually a better way to keep information safe and lawmakers in check.
CIOs in all territories face a tranche of data rules. Businesses are currently preparing for another change in legislation. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to come into force on 25 May 2018 and will see companies fined up to 4 per cent of their global turnover for breaches.
GDPR will require a serious step up in security policies and procedures. The potential costs, both in terms of financial and reputational damage, could leave executives out of pocket, out of a job - or even more seriously - in jail.
However, evidence suggests a wake up call is required. Research from insurance specialist Lloyd's suggests 92 per cent of companies have suffered a data breach in the past five years. Executives must react and take a proactive approach to information security.
Such is the importance of data integrity that Lloyd's reports chief executives, rather than CIOs, are now driving plans for data breaches in a majority (54 per cent) of businesses. Cloud provision is likely to play a big part in those approaches because it allows companies to store and use data with confidence.
Information security, after all, is unlikely to be the core business activity of your organisation. If that is the case, would you rather rely on an internal data centre with limited resources or would you rather store your data with an external specialist that spends millions of pounds on information protection?
The biggest providers are establishing localised data centres to help businesses deal with their information security and data governance demands. Microsoft, for example, has spent more than $3 billion building up its cloud infrastructure in Europe, including $1 billion in the past year.
Smart CIOs are already aware of new developments in on-demand security. Recently released figures suggest more than half (51 per cent) of IT leaders believe data security is better in the cloud than in their own data centres.
The confluence of new regulations and new types of provision means major businesses can push data to the cloud with confidence. If your business wants to stay secure, then it must consider the power of on-demand IT.
Microsoft's European commitment:
Cloud security research: