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Ever since the introduction of cloud and cloud services, we have heard the mantra to migrate the enterprise information infrastructure to the cloud. While this may be an attractive idea, there has long been a reluctance for such a move due to the security concerns regarding cloud—particularly with public cloud applications and services.

According to a recent IDC survey, data shows that businesses are actually moving away from the public cloud back to on-premise environments or to the private cloud. In fact, 80% of those polled had migrated data and/or applications stored in a public cloud environment in the past year to an on-premises or private cloud solution, with plans to move 50% of their public cloud applications over the next two years. All because of security concerns.

These numbers are staggering but not surprising, given the increased number of reported breaches and anticipated cyberattacks. When opting for the public cloud, many businesses did not consider the fact that the business itself is responsible for ensuring the security of their data and content in cloud applications—not the public cloud services provider.

Think of the cloud as an extension of your information ecosystem, and it should be included when planning your governance and security measures. Even in the private cloud, you must ensure that the data and content stored in the cloud are secure, with ways to monitor, detect, prevent, and react to potential breaches and leaks.

Is the move toward the cloud evaporating? Not really, but perceptions are changing and realities are setting in that the public cloud is not the be-all solution one might have thought—and may not be the best option for business-critical data. Plan, assess, and move forward with the cloud knowing it takes planning, effort, and focus to ensure the environment is secure.

Bob Larrivee is a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement to solve business problems and enhance business operations. He reports on the latest information management technologies for DOCUMENT Strategy. Follow him on Twitter @BobLarrivee or visit