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August 12, 2013

Organisations avoid cloud due to lack of security skills

Survey of IT professionals find 40% of UK firms avoid cloud services.

By Joe Curtis

Companies are avoiding cloud services due to a lack of security skills, according to research.

More than 40% of UK businesses are either avoiding cloud-based services or attempting to block them completely, according to a QuoCirca study on behalf of CA Technologies.

The survey of 337 senior business and IT professionals also revealed security to be the biggest barrier to cloud adoption.

Fears over personal data and data protection laws were the biggest issues in the UK, with between 40% and 50% of companies citing them as delaying cloud adoption.

But where companies with an enthusiastic attitude towards the benefits of cloud differ from those with a negative disposition towards it is in terms of having the skills to make cloud platforms secure.

More than 80% of ‘cloud avoiders’ fear they lack the necessary skills, compared to less than half of cloud enthusiasts in Europe.

Within the UK, 60% of companies believe they lack the skills and 72% consider they lack the resources required to secure their cloud services.

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However, 63% of UK organisations more responsive to cloud-based services believe that many security services, including single sign-on (SSO), federated IAM and identity governance could best be delivered through a cloud or hybrid model.

A further 68% of these organisations believe that their IAM system is important for provisioning and de-provisioning access to SaaS applications and other on-demand resources, compared to only 8% of those reluctant to use the cloud.

QuoCirca analyst and director Bob Tarzey said: "You can use cloud for every service but it requires investment and it costs money to make it safe."

Duncan Greenwood, sales director for CA Technologies, added: "Enthusiasts are spending much more of their budget on IT security.

"You have to spend more on security but if you’re doing that, you should be bringing down the overall cost of IT in the first place.

"The biggest challenge is getting the biggest industries in this country to really adopt cloud, which are the public sector and financial services."

Tarzey said: "A cloud-based IAMaaS platform could enable these negative thinkers to quickly and cost-effectively manage identities and provide access to both SaaS services and on-premise applications. With help and encouragement, today’s cloud negative companies could become cloud adopters tomorrow."

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