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MEA financial institutions wary on cloud

Over 80% of high-level IT decision makers in the financial sector in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) acknowledge that cloud computing offers significant tangible benefits, while close to 90% of them indicate that they are familiar with the concept, according to a survey conducted by market research company IDC.

At the same time, however, approximately 50% of survey respondents believe that cloud computing is difficult to implement.

Beyond a few early adopters, the IT departments of MEA financial institutions are at present exploring, or will soon be evaluating, how their organisations can benefit from cloud computing.

Some 79% of respondents say that their organisations are currently using or planning to deploy a private, public or hybrid cloud environment, while 20% indicate they have no interest in deploying any cloud environment.

"Although cloud computing has been considered by many financial institutions in the MEA region, factors such as security concerns, compliance standards, and an overall lack of knowledge have slowed adoption levels," says Bijen Ramdas, senior research analyst, IDC Financial Insights Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

"Due to the sensitivity of the data that financial institutions possess, there is a definite bias toward private and hybrid cloud technologies. Cloud adoption will accelerate in the coming years, as many financial institutions already say that cloud technology is part of their short-to-medium-term plans."

IDC believes that MEA financial institutions are likely to be reluctant to invest in cloud solutions until they have greater knowledge about and confidence in the technology. Security concerns are, at present, the greatest deterrent to adoption. As financial institutions are a very important custodian of citizens' information, inadequate security could lead to data leakage and result in potentially grave liability consequences.

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