Compliance slows UK firms' move into the cloud

IT decision makers in UK organisations admit that issues around data protection, legislation and regulation are responsible for cloud computing being adopted more slowly than they would like, with their concerns more ingrained than their counterparts in other countries.

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IT decision makers in UK organisations admit that issues around data protection, legislation and regulation are responsible for cloud computing being adopted more slowly than they would like, with their concerns more ingrained than their counterparts in other countries.

Technology research company Vanson Bourne questioned 700 IT decision makers in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, the Nordics, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, at companies employing over 500.

In the UK, while just over a quarter (26 percent) say data protection, legislation and regulation have been the "primary reason" for slow cloud adoption, 31 percent admitted they have "significantly" slowed cloud adoption and 29 percent said they have affected adoption "to some extent". This is a total of 86 percent against an average of 76 percent across all of the other countries surveyed.

Over a third (36 percent) of UK companies have adopted the cloud in the last one to two years, but almost a quarter (22 percent) have yet to adopt it, compared to an average of just 14 percent globally.

Although just 10 percent of UK respondents have already moved the majority of data and services into the cloud, 42 percent will transition it in the next two years and 18 percent beyond this period. Yet, 30 percent admit they will never move their data, a figure only topped by the Nordics with 42 percent refusing to move it.

Despite the concerns, when asked which infrastructure they would choose to deliver secure services to the business, almost half (42 percent) of UK respondents opted for some form of cloud, with 22 percent selecting a private cloud model, 19 percent a hybrid one, and one percent the public cloud.

However, when questioned about regulatory issues, 48 percent would choose a corporately-owned data centre and 20 percent a third-party hosted data centre as the best means of delivery to adhere to new regulations, with less than a third opting for a cloud model.

Garry Sidaway, global director of security strategy at NTT Com Security, which sponsored the research, said: “The report suggests that UK organisations could be falling slightly behind others when it comes to integrating cloud as part of their infrastructure, or moving data and services into the cloud, and it seems the growing challenges of legislation, regulation and compliance are playing their part in this.

"With increasingly complex data laws here, it’s becoming something of a minefield for businesses looking to become more agile, efficient and competitive using cloud, and perhaps feeling they are being held back.”

Organisations in the USA/Canada are the most cloud enthusiastic, with 28 percent saying they have already moved the majority of their data and services into the cloud, followed by Germany (24 percent).

At a global market sector level, financial services (36 percent), petrochemicals (39 percent) and healthcare (27 per cent) organisations are most affected by legislation and regulation issues, citing them as the primary reason for slow cloud take-up.