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Cloud still new territory for SMBs, study says

The cloud is being adopted at a rapid rate throughout the private sector, largely because enterprises are finally seeing the cost efficiency and scalability benefits associated with using the technology. Small and medium-sized businesses, however, are still slightly skeptical of the cloud, as many decision-makers are unsure if they can trust the hosted environments with securing mission-critical data.

In a recent study among SMBs, GreenSQL found that roughly 81 percent of IT professionals expressed security concerns with using cloud computing. Besides overall data protection issues, approximately 28 percent of respondents said their current compliance regulations barred them from adopting the cloud, while another 22 percent said losing control over mission-critical assets was a problem. Another 19 percent said the cloud is not yet mature enough for them to use.

"People are naturally concerned about their data and perceived vulnerabilities when migrating to the cloud," said Amir Sadeh, CEO of GreenSQL. "Even the responses about control and the technology's maturity are tinged with concerns about security. The cloud is still a new, uncharted territory for many and trusting data to the cloud borders on an act of faith."

Despite these concerns, half of respondents said cloud computing is going to become increasingly important for their organization to remain competitive in the coming years, according to the study. Another 50 percent said the hosted services will eventually become a necessity.

Overcoming irrational cloud security fears
In a separate Enterprise CIO Forum report, IT expert Rick Blaisdell said the security issues regarding a cloud infrastructure are no different than those experienced in an on-site data center. Cloud service providers are focused on improving controls in the hosted environment so mission-critical resources are always safe. For this reason, it may be more risky to continue operating legacy structures, which are not as agile as the cloud.

The fear that decision-makers will lose control of their assets is also ungrounded, Blaisdell asserted, as service providers often allow executives to choose how information is stored.

As more organizations around the world leverage the cloud to improve data management and agility, SMBs will need to consider doing the same to remain competitive, as failing to embrace the cloud will likely force companies to perform at a slower and more vulnerable pace.

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