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Security worries hinder cloud adoption in Gulf

Concerns over data security is the top factor delaying the widespread adoption of cloud-based services, according to a new survey of IT professionals conducted by Gulf Business Machines (GBM).

According to the survey, which coincides with the launch of GBM’s Intelligent Network Solutions (INS) division, concerns over service reliability and availability, as well as the cost of cloud-based solutions are often cited reasons for the slow adoption of outsourced enterprise cloud services.

While two-thirds (62 percent) of the regional IT professionals polled stated that data security was a concern and 40.5 percent identified cost as a barrier, 43 percent cited service reliability concerns. In comparison, a lack of support from non-IT decision makers was mentioned by less than a quarter (22 percent) of the respondents.

“These findings should come as a serious concern for the industry since perceptions, as opposed to facts, appear to play a significant role in decisions to defer the adoption of cloud services in an enterprise environment,” said Hani Nofal, Director of Intelligent Network Solutions (INS) at GBM. “While it is important to note that the use of cloud technologies is part of the IT function’s evolutionary process, it is equally important to realize that change is usually a gradual process. It is only a matter of time before the benefits of using the cloud, such as cost effectiveness and scalability, outweigh these unfounded concerns.”

Nofal added: “At GBM INS, we aim to partner with our customers to introduce them to cloud-based services at a pace that is in line with their comfort levels. We truly believe that the region offers significant potential for scaling up the adoption of cloud solutions and we aim to use our combination of experience and access to best-in-class technologies to support this trend.”

Significantly, almost a quarter (24.6 percent) of the respondents said that their organizations were planning to outsource business applications and services to cloud-based service providers in the next 12 to 18 months. The study also revealed that while one-in-ten IT professionals owns five or more personal devices – such as smartphones and tablets – a third of those polled owned up to three devices. However, only 6.2 percent admitted to owning one device.

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