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Gulf organisations concerned over cloud security

Survey finds cloud security, service reliability and cost are barriers to cloud adoption among GCC organisations

Gulf organisations concerned over cloud security
IT industry should be concerned about misperceptions around cloud, says Nofal.

Regional organisations are not adopting cloud computing primarily due to security concerns, according to a new survey.

The survey of 900 organisations in the GCC, found that the 62% of IT professionals polled stated data security as a concern for cloud roll out, while 43% were concerned about service reliability, and 40.5% felt that cost was a barrier.

Despite the reservations, around one quarter of respondents to the survey, which was carried out on behalf of Gulf Business Machines (GBM), were planning outsource business applications and services to cloud-based service providers in the next 12 to 18 months.

"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 the newly-launched Intelligent Network Solutions (INS) division 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," he added.

The survey also looked at other technology issues such as BYOD, social media access and use of video conferencing. Around two thirds of respondents allow users to bring their own devices, and respondents reported that many of their organisations are rolling out BYOD policies.

Attitudes to social media were mixed, with 32% of organisations allowing unrestricted access to social media applications on company networks, while 35% did not allow social media at all.

The survey also showed a growing uptake of video conferencing in the region, with 60% saying they had video conferencing solutions deployed in their organisation. Of the organisations that have deployed video conferencing, four-fifths said they used it as an alternative to business travel.

GMS's new Intelligent Network Solutions (INS) division, has been formed to focus on emerging areas of technology, including secure mobility, video collaboration, social media and cloud computing, with the aim of delivering creative, human-optimized solutions.

"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," Nofal added.

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