Study: Security, lack of understanding preventing move to cloud in Canada

3 juillet 2012

Despite a lack of "base-level" knowledge of the technology among much of the enterprise community across Canada, cloud security was cited as a the reason for stalling in the migration to cloud computing, according to a study by IDC Canada and telecommunications company Telus.

Just 29 percent of Canadian companies in the survey were receptive to "alternative IT delivery methods," such as cloud computing. Worries over data security in the cloud served to highlight why so many companies were unwilling to consider the move, as 91 percent of those surveyed had significant concerns about how to secure cloud computing, because of issues with sensitivity.

Repeating history
High-ranking cloud officials within the companies conducting the survey, as well as external industry experts, believe that the hesitancy is similar to how companies reacted to previous technological shifts. Stanford lecturer and advisor to Cloudbook.net Timothy Chou told the Vancouver Sun that the transition is similar to that seen with the move to client-server computing.

It's in this confusion that the experts believe cost becomes important, but first, it must override the concerns about cloud data security.

"Security is critically important, and in fact, is one of many pillars of success," vice president of infrastructure and cloud solutions at IDC, David Senf, said. "Moreover, most cloud providers are more secure than most Canadian organizations. An often overlooked calculation in cloud ROI is the offloading of tasks around security, management and recovery to a third-party."

Reaching out
Ignorance didn't seem to be bliss for IDC Canada's respondents, as the lack of knowledge about cloud computing was nearly as rampant and security concerns. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed reported a low or base-level knowledge about how to integrate external IT options like cloud computing into their IT setup.

The study hypothesizes that this knowledge gap and hesitancy to relinquish control sees many companies focusing more on the potential negatives than cloud computing could do for their business. Chou believes that companies fear of the unknown prevents them from branching out and finding the benefits that come with external control.

"Here are your two choices," Chou told the Sun. "You could put your money under a mattress in the house, get guard dogs and a fence. The other answer is to go to a place where many other people are putting their money, so the guy whose business it is to take care of your money builds a big safe, gets really big dogs because he or she is doing it for hundreds of thousands of people."

-McAfee Cloud Security