Cloud computing still perceived as risky: ISACA

Almost half of A/NZ organisations believe risks of cloud computing outweigh its benefits

Just under half of organisations in Australia and New Zealand believe that the risks of cloud computing outweigh its benefits, new research from risk management industry group, ISACA, has found.

The ISACA’s Oceania IT Risk/Reward Barometer Survey, conducted among 218 business and IT professionals from Australia and New Zealand, found that 49 per cent of respondents believed that the risks of cloud computing outweigh the benefits.

Just 18 per cent believed that the benefits achieved with cloud computing outweighed the risks, while 33 per cent believed the risks and benefits of cloud computing are appropriately balanced.

On the issue of having an organisation plan for cloud computing in 2010, just 31 per cent of organisations planned to limit cloud computing to low-risk, non-mission-critical IT services (22 per cent) or for mission-critical IT services (nine per cent).

Some 30 per cent of organisations did not currently plan to use cloud computing, had not finalised plans (18 per cent) or were unaware of any plans (22 per cent).

Looking at the greatest hurdle when addressing IT-related business risk in their organisation, respondent said Budget limits (32 per cent) were the greatest risk.

This was followed by business lines not willing to fully engage in risk management (24 per cent), lack of cooperation across risk management silos (16 per cent), lack of management support (17 per cent), and uncertainty over how to tailor best practices to their environment (12 per cent).

According to ISACA, international vice president, Ria Lucas, the transition to cloud computing needed to be viewed as requiring major governance review involving a broad range of stakeholders and a governance framework to address the changed risk landscape.

“Moving to cloud computing represents a significant shift in how companies utilise resources, so it is not surprising that IT and business professionals feel there could be a number of potential risks in entrusting information to the cloud,” Lucas said in a statement.

“However the advantages of speed, cost, flexibility and access to high value services will drive the business demand for cloud services, as the rewards have the potential to outweigh the risk.”

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