Misdirected concerns around data security may be threatening Canada’s economic competitiveness.
According to a Telus and IDC Canada study released today, concerns over data security and a limited knowledge of cloud computing are putting Canada’s economic competitiveness at risk as business and IT leaders fail to adopt new cloud technologies.
The study reveals that the majority of Canadian organizations currently using cloud computing say it has transformed the way they work by allowing them to refocus resources on meeting strategic business objectives—yet 71%t of Canadian businesses aren’t open to alternative IT delivery models.
According to the study, Canadian businesses do not fully understand the business value of cloud-based services: cost savings, improved functionality of IT systems, greater agility and improved customer responsiveness. Moreover, these businesses are not clear about which key issues they should focus on when making an outsourcing, hosting or cloud technology decision.
91% of Canadian business and IT leaders have significant concerns about public cloud's ability to secure data based on its sensitivity. And 87% of Canadian business and IT leaders have significant concerns about public cloud's ability to handle data in compliance with regulations and legislation.
Further, 63% of Canadian business leaders and 60% of Canadian IT leaders cited data security as one of their top two most significant public cloud deployment challenges. And finally, 63% of Canadian companies say they do not have enough, or only a base level of, knowledge to make decisions on whether to use a cloud service or their internal IT department.
“Many larger Canadian organizations miss the opportunity to exploit the benefits of cloud because they fixate on security. To properly weigh public, hosted and private cloud options versus traditional IT delivery, multiple criteria are important including data residency,” said David Senf, vice-president of Infrastructure and Cloud Solutions, IDC. “Security is critically important, and in fact, is one of many pillars of cloud success. Moreover, most cloud providers are more secure than most Canadian organizations. An often over-looked calculation in cloud ROI is the offloading of tasks around security, management and recovery to a third-party.”
“Today many people are saying that cloud computing is not secure enough, not reliable enough. It's strikingly similar to what people said in the early days of client-server computing," said Timothy Chou, lecturer, cloud computing, Stanford University. “But we all know what happened. We are seeing the same wave happen with cloud computing. Economics is allowing solutions to arrive which were never affordable before. Canadian companies, as with any company around the world, should first get educated on the subject, second, use the products to reduce their costs and third, consider the potential to transform their businesses.”
“According to the study, productivity improvement is the number one driver among business and IT leaders in large Canadian organizations, so technology investments such as cloud computing should make good, logical business sense,” said Tony Krueck, vice-president of Business Products & Services at Telus.