A recent survey from independent industry analyst house, IDC, highlighted five deciding factors of respondents purchasing cloud solutions: security, stability, reliability, integration and costs. The findings of the IDC report largely reflect those of CIF's independent research, which was released earlier this year.
Andy Burton, chairman of CIF, commented: "IDC's research confirms that, even though cloud adoption has increased rapidly, the same concerns about data security and reliability are still top of the agenda to provide clarity and comfort around.
"We, at CIF, are aware that in order to eliminate end user anxieties surrounding the cloud, CSPs should ensure they certify and comply with a credible Code of Practice. A Code, such as the Cloud Service Providers Code of Practice managed by CIF, is required to ensure that a fair and consistent analysis of operational capability is provided to assist end users to select a service provider, on a rational basis, that is most suitable to their business. It should take into account three key points: Transparency, Capability and Accountability to accurately define the Service Providers offering, conditions and practices.
"The respondents from CIF's own research rated data security (64 per cent) and data privacy (62 per cent) as their main concerns regarding cloud adoption. Interestingly, almost half (46%) of the 450 organisations interviewed also stated a preference for data to remain in the UK from a data sovereignty and data protection perspective. However, even accepting these concerns, the research showed an extremely positive 94 per cent satisfaction rate from customers using cloud services, and 1 in 2 interviewed already use a cloud service formally. So, we conclude, whilst the concerns are potentially slowing the current pace of adoption they are not in any way preventing adoption. Our aim at CIF is for this almost universal satisfaction level to be maintained, validated and built upon, whilst positively addressing the natural concerns of end users through practical advice, and a level playing field for analysis of options.
"As IDC's research shows, the IT delivery model that we call cloud is still shaping in the minds of end user organisations, and as with any technology it can never be totally free from concerns when it involves forming trusted partnerships with third parties to achieve a result. However, it emphasises the need for further clarity and transparency within the cloud so that end users can have confidence to recognise it as a viable, efficient, secure and economical IT supply model. If we continue to encourage CSPs to offer transparent, reliable and secure services, then end users will be even more willing to invest in cloud services and we will see greater collaboration, business models and opportunity." concluded Andy.