Veritas: Alarming misconceptions of the cloud


A recent study by Veritas has revealed an alarming majority of organisations (69%) export full responsibility for data protection, privacy and compliance onto cloud service providers.

Veritas Technologies has announced the results of a global survey spanning thirteen countries indicating that the majority of global organisations (56%) operate with a cloud-first mentality when it comes to deploying new applications and managing workloads. Only 1% of organisations reported that they will not be adopting cloud over the next two years. However, the study reveals that significant misconceptions exist on the responsibility for data management, with 69% of organisations wrongfully believing data protection, data privacy and compliance are the responsibility of the cloud service provider.


The Truth in Cloud study, commissioned by Veritas and conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveyed 1,200 global business and IT decision makers revealed that customers are embracing the multi-cloud as a key component of their business strategies. Within the survey, customers indicated they use a variety of cloud service providers, including public clouds and hosted private clouds. With respect to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) specifically, over two-thirds (67%) of organisations state they use, or plan to use, two or more cloud providers. Forty-two per cent say they are using, or plan to use, three or more cloud providers, with common goals of improving resiliency and data security as well as reducing capital expenditures (Capex) and operating expenses (Opex).

As customers embrace the cloud, the research explores three key areas of focus: Misconceptions of data management in the public cloud, rise in multi-cloud adoption and future cloud trends.


Misconceptions of data management in the public cloud 

Although organisations are adopting a multi-cloud approach, the research shows that when it comes to public clouds specifically, there are likely misconceptions around which party holds the ultimate responsibility for data management: the customer or the cloud provider.


Key findings include:

  • More than eight in ten (83%) of organisations that use or plan to use IaaS believe that their cloud service provider takes care of protecting their data in the cloud.
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents believe they can place all responsibility for data protection, data privacy and compliance on cloud service providers.
  • Over half (54%) of organisations believe it is the responsibility of the cloud service provider to securely transfer data between on-premises and cloud.
  • Over half (51%) believe it is the responsibility of the cloud service provider to back up workloads in the cloud.


More than one in two (55%) of organisations also believe that application uptime is the responsibility of the cloud provider.


“Our research finds that 76% of organisations have an expectation that their cloud provider will take care of all data privacy and compliance requirements,” comments Jason Tooley, vice president, Northern Europe, Veritas. “Although cloud providers have a duty to ensure they help keep data secure and readily available, the ultimate responsibility of maintaining a compliance position with regulations such as GDPR lies with the organisation that owns the information.”

“With the recently introduced UK Data Protection Bill, businesses should remember that they are the data controller, and that they must comply with all the obligations that the GDPR imposes,” adds Jason.


Rise in multi-cloud adoption

The Truth in Cloud research also shows that on average, organisations are using, or plan to use, multiple cloud platforms, ranging from public clouds to hosted private clouds. However, many organisations continue to face challenges getting to the cloud regardless of whether it is a public cloud or a hosted private cloud. The common barriers are:

  • Complexity with cloud migration (37%).
  • Legacy technology limitations (36%).
  • Lack of in-house skills (38%).
  • Lack of a clear strategy (32%).
  • Data silos (27%).

Currently, 75% of organisations work with an IaaS public cloud provider and surprisingly, 16% of respondents say that they use, or plan to use, five or more cloud providers. Respondents stated that data privacy, security and compliance, workload performance and uptime are the top deciding factors impacting cloud provider selection.


Future cloud trends

According to the study, IT spending on cloud technologies, including public cloud providers, is expected to rise from 12% in 2017 to 18% within the next two years. The trend is likely to continue and increase, as more than half (58%) of organisations that currently use one cloud provider indicate they plan to expand their portfolio across multiple cloud platforms.

“Companies embracing digital transformation are always looking for innovative ways to extract greater value from their information, so they can make more informed decisions and offer improved service delivery to their customers,” says Jason.

“As enterprises continue to migrate from on-premise to hybrid and multi-cloud environments, the need to gain visibility into their information, and effectively use it to boost collaboration between suppliers and partners, has become ever more imperative. If organisations consider all aspects of information management as they journey to the cloud, the business agility that cloud can deliver are significant.”