Survey: Cloud security, migration time major concerns with shift to cloud computing

May 11, 2012

The move to cloud computing is expected to increase fourfold in 2012 despite concerns about cloud security and the time it would take to migrate companies' applications to the cloud, according to a new survey by a U.S.-based networking company.

Of the more the 1,300 IT decision makers worldwide surveyed, only 5 percent have currently been able to migrate half of their applications to the cloud. Despite their concerns, 20 percent expect to be at or beyond that halfway point by the end of 2012.

The greatest concern of 72 percent of the respondents was security. Data security in the cloud was a grave concern for the 39 percent of participants who said they would not trust the cloud provider they currently use at work with their own personal data, such as a Social Security Number.

Even as they prepare their companies to join the cloud computing revolution, 76 percent believe their cloud applications are likely to be breached. The other 24 percent think they are more likely to be struck by lightning than experience a breach.

The changing of the tides
Not all high-level IT people are resistant to the cloud - despite the study finding that 39 percent say they would prefer to get a root canal or worse, do their own taxes - as many feel that it is going to take over much of the world's computing workload.

Google CIO Ben Fried is one top executive that feels the benefits of the cloud may finally be knocking down the resistance.

"The macroeconomic tides - you can't fight them forever - will force companies to adapt," Fried told the CIO Journal. "We're probably close to that point now."

Fried thinks that once the cloud passes the tipping point, the economic impact will go beyond just cost-cutting. He believes it will change the structure of businesses and markets.

Fifty percent by 2014
The same company that conducted the international survey previously predicted that more than 50 percent of computing workload in data centers will be on the cloud by 2014. It might have taken less time to penetrate that deep into the information infrastructure, but most IT decision makers are not convinced they can migrate quickly. According to the survey, 24 percent place a unicorn sighting - increasingly rare, even in Silicon Valley - as more likely than a six-month start-to-finish cloud migration.

-McAfee Cloud Security