U.K. firms more reserved about cloud computing than U.S. firms, survey finds

U.K. government launches program to encourage cloud adoption
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Only 35 percent of U.K. companies are using cloud computing for private data storage, while a majority of U.S. companies are doing so, according to a survey conducted by Redwood Software.

Less than one-quarter of U.K. businesses are using cloud computing for capacity management, compared with 47 percent of U.S. firms, the survey of 200 U.S. firms and 100 U.K. firms with over 1,000 employees found. In addition, only 14 percent of U.K. firms are using the cloud to automate their business process, compared to 30 percent of U.S. firms.  

Lack of control of data was cited as the top reason for not adopting the cloud by 27 percent of U.K. firms, while only 14 percent of U.S. firms named that factor. For U.S. firms, lack of resources was the primary deterrent to adopting clouds, according to the survey.

In an effort to encourage U.K. firms to adopt cloud computing, the U.K. government has launched a £5 million ($8 million) program to fund 13 cloud research and development projects, the U.K. Technology Strategy Board announced last month. The companies are kicking in another £5 million, bringing the total value of the projects to £10 million ($16 million).

The projects are designed to address three areas that are discouraging U.K. firms from cloud adoption--interoperability (enabling enterprises to use more than one cloud supplier and build hybrid services), data resilience (maintaining confidentiality and integrity of data along with privacy of users) and identity assurance (ensuring only authorized users have access to the data).

"The market for cloud computing services is growing by 26 percent each year. It is an area with exceptional potential for growth. Finding the correct balance between trust and flexibility, without compromising security, is vital," said Iain Gray, chief executive officer of the Technology Strategy Board.

"Through this support we aim to help U.K. suppliers of cloud infrastructure and outsourced IT services to work together on the challenges that are holding back the adoption of cloud computing, in order to capture a bigger share of this expanding market," Gray added.

In order to remain competitive, U.K. firms will need to overcome their shyness about adopting cloud computing. The benefits are many, and the risks are manageable. Otherwise, these U.K. firms will be at an ongoing competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

For more:
- see Redwood Software data
- check out the Technology Strategy Board announcement

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