Précis – A new study by accounting firm KPMG on cloud adoption trends has revealed that many companies are finding the transition to a cloud infrastructure costly and fraught with numerous security challenges.

What?

Cloud is now weaving itself into the fundamental fabric of today’s enterprise. As a result of this increasing trend, companies around the globe are now exploring the potential benefits of cloud and, consequently, are also discovering the practical hurdles involved with the migration to a cloud infrastructure. For the report, The Cloud Takes Shape, KPMG partnered with Forbes Insights to conduct the survey of companies who have adopted the cloud platform. The report is based on the responses of more than 650 senior executives in some 16 countries representing multiple industries and “the opinions and responses provide a valuable perspective on the complexities facing today’s organisations”.

So what?

While offering opportunities for long-term cost reduction and business process transformation and new market entry, cloud computing represents a fundamental shift in the way that IT is both consumed and delivered. However, on the heels of this potential growth follows cost implications, data concerns and security risks. The report finds that there is a growing consensus that a redesigning of business processes must occur simultaneously with cloud adoption if organisations hope to achieve the full potential of their cloud investments. According to The Cloud Takes Shape,

"nearly 33 percent of all executives surveyed say that cloud implementation costs have been higher than they expected, and a similar percentage say that integrating cloud services with their existing IT infrastructure has been particularly difficult.”

Other concerns among high numbers of the respondents were regarding data loss and privacy risks, as well as general security risks. When asked to score certain areas out of 5 based on how challenging respondents believed them to be, risk of intellectual property theft scored 4.21, data loss and privacy risks scored 4.19, and general security risks scored 4.11.

Nevertheless, the report declares that it is worth noting concerns related to security do not seem to be slowing cloud adoption:

“While the data shows that security-related concerns are still top-of-mind, the real story underlying these findings is that organisations are quickly gaining more confidence in the security of their cloud services providers.”

The report indicates a recognition that the only way to address the concern is to work more closely with IT to develop a joint approach on cloud security to ensure that cloud providers' solutions and services are reliable and protected. Many businesses are proving their growing confidence in the security of cloud with more than a third of respondents saying they will migrate core operations of sourcing and procurement, supply chain and logistics to cloud within the next 18 months. It is clear that just as Intel acquired McAfee to address cloud security, integrating security into cloud delivery platforms will become increasingly more relevant as more companies make the transition to cloud.