Security slips from top cloud-adoption concerns

Security, which was once the number one concern for those moving to the cloud, has now slipped in its rankings, with system integration vying for position.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Security has slipped even farther from the top spot of concerns for Australian businesses looking to move to the cloud, according to Forrester Research's latest study.

The VMware Cloud Index, which is now in its third year, looked at around 6,500 senior IT practitioners in the Asia-Pacific and Japan regions. Last year, Forrester vice president and principal analyst John Brand revealed that security had slipped from the top concern that businesses have into second place, ousted by privacy issues.

However, this year, security has fallen even farther down the ladder of concerns. Of those surveyed, 71 percent of Australian organisations cited privacy as their number one concern, while systems integration overtook security, with 65 percent of organisations highlighting it as a barrier to cloud adoption. Security, on the other hand, dropped to just 58 percent this year.

It's good news for cloud adoption, with Brand saying that even though these are the biggest concerns, they're not show stoppers.

"While we continue to see [privacy, systems integration, and security] identified as a barrier, it's not nearly slowing down adoption. People are finding solutions or living with the consequences, probably both in some cases, but it's not really holding back the growth in any way."

From the report, 58 percent of respondents are currently using the cloud, up from 42 percent in 2011 and just 31 percent in 2010.

However, it doesn't necessarily mean that security issues have gone away completely. Privacy, which includes data residency and control, has elements of security in it. Instead, Brand said that Australian businesses now understand them in more detail, and are becoming more specific on what their concerns are, rather than simply lumping everything into a broad category of security.

"If anything, I'd say it reflects the maturity that the Australian market has compared to the rest of the world."

The study also found that 61 percent of Australian IT professionals believe that cloud is actually making their jobs more complex — a side effect of Australians doing many more advanced things in the cloud, compared to the rest of the world.

Brand said this has meant that cloud management has become a larger issue for Australians in particular, "not just from a technical perspective, but from a business perspective, as well."

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