Cloud Computing Hurt by Lack of Innovation, Data Privacy Concerns

A new survey shows that many organizations feel a lack of innovation and maturity hamper adoption of cloud computing.

Government regulations, exit strategies and international data privacy led the list of concerns that are eroding business confidence in cloud computing, according to findings from a joint survey by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and ISACA (previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association). In addition to regulatory and privacy issues, a lack of innovation and maturity across cloud computing technologies is slowing widespread cloud adoption, the survey indicated.

Nearly one in four (24 percent) survey respondents indicated that there is no or limited levels of innovation in the market. Nearly all respondents said they felt cloud computing was far from reaching maturity, with only software as a service (SaaS) cautiously placed at the earliest state of growth level. Infrastructure and platform services were still considered in their infancy, according to survey results. Forty-three percent of respondents believe there is a moderate level of cloud innovation, while a third reported the level of innovation in terms of products, services and business use is significant.

“As a first step, we as an industry must still work to provide a clearer definition of what cloud is and how the many innovative and secure services can help positively impact today’s businesses,” J.R. Santos, global research director at CSA, said in a prepared statement. “But, we need to start at the top and engage senior management. Cloud needs can no longer be thought of as a technical issue to address, but rather a business asset to embrace.”

The progression of cloud adoption has been driven mainly by business enablers, such as the reliability and availability of services and quality of service, rather than financial considerations. Green technology initiatives, such as reducing the environmental footprint of the organization through cloud computing, was the least important factor when considering cloud adoption, according to the survey.

“Survey results show that CIOs and IT management understand cloud best and are most involved in driving cloud innovation in their organizations. This limits cloud maturity and innovation since cloud continues to be viewed as a technical solution and not as a business enabler,” Yves Le Roux, a member of CSA and ISACA’s committee on guidance and practices. “Cloud can provide business-building innovation, but to get to that point, there needs to be more buy-in and a better understanding among business leaders and C-level executives of the cloud’s value and risk.”

The Cloud Market Maturity study provides business and IT professionals with insight into the maturity of cloud computing and will help identify any changes in the market, and included responses from more than 250 participants across nearly 50 countries, representing a global group of cloud users, providers, consultants and integrators from 15 industry segments.