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UK risks falling behind others as businesses admit data protection and regulation issues are delaying cloud adoption – global report reveals

26, September 2013 | News Alert

26 September 2013, London, UK – 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.

This is according to a new research report commissioned by NTT Com Security (formerly Integralis) the power behind WideAngle, the global information security and risk management brand.

While just over a quarter (26 per cent) say these issues have been the ‘primary reason’ for slow adoption, 31 per cent admit they have ‘significantly’ slowed adoption and 29 per cent say they have affected it ‘to some extent’ – a total of 86 per cent against an average of 76 per cent across all of the other countries surveyed. 

At a global market sector level, Financial Services (36 per cent), Petrochemicals (39 per cent) 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.

The global cloud research among 700 organisations in the UK, USA/Canada, Germany, Nordics, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, shows that while over a third (36 per cent) of UK companies have adopted cloud in the last one to two years, almost a quarter (22 per cent) have yet to adopt it, compared to an average of 14 per cent globally.  Although just 10 per cent of UK respondents have already moved the majority of data and services into the cloud, 42 per cent will transition it in the next two years and 18 per cent beyond this period.  Yet, 30 per cent admit they will never move their data, a figure only topped by the Nordics with 42 per cent.

Despite concerns, when asked which infrastructure they would choose to deliver secure services to the business, almost half (42 per cent) of UK respondents opt for some form of cloud, with 22 per cent selecting private, 19 per cent hybrid and 1 per cent public cloud.  However, when questioned about regulatory issues, 48 per cent would choose a corporately-owned data centre and 20 per cent 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, says: “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.” 

For the first time, the new report also reveals that all organisations fit into Five Cloud Personas* defined by their levels of enthusiasm for cloud computing and the extent of their adoption.  Ranging from Controllers at one end of the scale, distinctive by their lack of cloud enthusiasm, the five personas also include Accepters, Experimenters, Believers, and Embracers who are the most cloud enthusiastic and have benefitted most from its use.

“What's interesting is that it is possible to see attributes of these five cloud personas identified in the report within different countries, with the UK clearly falling into the Controller and Accepter personas.  Whatever stage countries are at, cloud is playing an increasingly important role as organisations seek to move into new territories and be more agile and competitive," adds Sidaway.

Key statistics: Country differences

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

· When it comes to innovation, USA/Canada also stands out, with 59 per cent actively seeking out and experimenting with new and emerging technologies, followed by Singapore (41 per cent), Japan (26 per cent), Germany (21 per cent) and the UK (20 per cent).

· Cloud adoption has increased in the last two years, with 36 per cent of UK companies indicating deployment within that timeframe, followed by Germany (34 per cent), the USA/Canada and Singapore (31 per cent each), Japan (25 per cent), and Hong Kong and the Nordics (18 per cent each).