Data Security Concerns Impact Cloud Deployments

Cloud computing backup and security concerns are being addressed in different ways by enterprises.

While organizations continue to adopt cloud computing solutions, data security remains an issue, according to a survey of enterprises commissioned by Asigra and performed by customer metrics and research organization TechValidate.

The survey found 21 percent of respondents cited data security as the biggest concern while the location of where the data was stored came in at 7 percent. Backup-related costs, user-related data loss and service provider stability all ranked at 3 percent. Overall, 59 percent said that all of these were concerns with respect to storing data in the cloud.

However, the survey results also indicated that enterprises have endorsed software as a service (SaaS) and the cloud as a viable business application platform, with 55 percent of the organizations surveyed using today and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) expecting the use of other SaaS and cloud-based applications to increase.

According to the report, most organizations rely on a mix of solutions when it comes to data backup and recovery. Two-thirds of respondents have some form of physical device backup solution, while 41 percent use a virtual machine backup solution.

When asked what attributes they consider most important in a backup solution when protecting cloud-based application data, 68 percent said a comprehensive backup solution that protects both cloud and on-premise applications is desired, more than half (52 percent) said the solution must be fast and highly secure, while 10 percent indicated a stand-alone cloud application backup solution would meet their needs. Thirty-eight percent of respondents use tape backup, while just under a quarter (24 percent) have deployed a cloud-based or online backup solution and 7 percent rely on USB hard drives for backup.

With 23 percent deployment, Salesforce showed the highest level of adoption out of all the cloud-based customer resource management (CRM) applications in use, followed by Microsoft Dynamics at 12 percent, Oracle at 12 percent, SAP at 8 percent and SugarCRM at 4 percent. Of those same respondents, however, just 22 percent indicated that SaaS/cloud-based application data is incorporated into their corporate backup infrastructure.

According to a recent report from IT research firm IDC, the cloud software market reached $22.9 billion in revenue in 2011, a 30.9 percent year-over-year growth rate. The market is expected to reach $67.3 billion by 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent. By that time, the cloud software model will account for $1 of every $5 spent on software, the report projected.

The IDC report also predicted SaaS delivery would "significantly outpace" traditional software product delivery, growing nearly five times faster than the software market as a whole and becoming the major growth driver to all functional software markets.