The current economic climate is pushing more and more companies towards cloud computing, according to analysts at Deloitte & Touche.
Rena Mears, Deloitte's partner for security and privacy services, said that the recession is pushing companies to cut costs, even if it means putting aside concerns over the technology.
"Clients tell me when they look at costs that it's $500 [£340] to support a conventional desktop over a year. This falls to $5 [£3.40] to maintain a desktop using cloud services," she said. "In this climate that's a compelling thing."
Mears was speaking at the publication of Deloitte's annual Enterprise at Risk: Privacy & Data Protection Survey, which found that two thirds of respondents are either using, or intend to use, cloud services.
The most popular applications are data storage (27.7 per cent of respondents), financial applications (17 per cent) and email (12.8 per cent).
However, the rush to data storage is confusing, since nearly a third of managers raised concerns about the protection of intellectual property.
Financial applications were more understandable, according to Mears, considering the history of technology.
"Technology came to the enterprise initially in the accounting departments, and finance has led the way ever since," she said. "Maybe it's not so strange that this was one of the first into the desktop."
Cloud computing is certainly maturing, but there are still a number of issues that need to be sorted out, particularly regarding data retention laws in different countries.
The EU states are more concerned about privacy as a human right than anywhere else, whereas this is less of an issue in the US and not relevant in Asia.
"Any time you see a movement there's a lag in law, process and custom. Over time you see all of that develop," said Mears. "Contracts lag, regulations lag, and what you get is a negotiation. Companies are negotiating with their employers."
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