UK CFOs still wary of the cloud

UK CFOs still wary of the cloud

Despite stagnant IT budgets, many mid-sized UK financial services firms are still wary of making cloud-related investments, concerned about security and data control, according to research commissioned by SunGard.

The Vanson Bourn survey of chief financial officers at 100 mid-sized UK firms, of which 27 are from the financial services sector, shows that the cost benefits of cloud computing are still being tempered by concerns.

Of the financial services CFOs polled, 41% say they fully understand the benefits of moving to the cloud and 56% expect no increase in their IT budget over the next three years.

The money-saving value of the technology was highlighted earlier this week when US custodian State Street outlined plans to develop private processing clouds, as part of a programme to shave up to $625 million from its operating costs by 2014.

However, 56% of financial services respondents to the SunGard survey cite fears around the security of sensitive customer or commercial data in outsourcing IT infrastructure to a third party.

Over 40% admit that high-profile media stories around outages or data losses are heightening these fears, making them more inclined to keep their data in-house, despite the cost implications.

Loss of control concerns 63% of CFOs when handing information over to a third party, with just 15% happy to have all of their data in the hands of a provider.

Meanwhile, just 41% of the financial services CFOs questioned - and 28% of all respondents - say they know the difference between private and public clouds, a factor which is hindering take-up argues SunGard.

Keith Tilley, MD, UK SunGard Availability Service, says: "The findings suggest that organisations are looking for a solution which offers the key benefits of the cloud - such as cost savings and increased agility - but where data is stored in a fully-resilient, secure data centre, where they can have control over it. This is exactly what the private cloud offers, but it seems nearly three-quarters of UK CFOs are missing out on this as they wrestle with the distinction between private and public cloud computing."

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