Cloud computing security challenges are daunting and the costs higher than a substantial number of businesses originally thought they would be, a new study revealed.

The Cloud Survey report published by consultancy KPMG International indicated that half of the 650 respondents said their organisations already make use of the cloud for business processes. Two of the main reasons given for moving to cloud-based services were to make it easier to enter new markets and drives process transformation. But a third said the cost of moving to the cloud were higher than expected, mainly because they belatedly discovered that it involved more changes in their existing business and IT architectures than they'd originally recognised.

The problems they encountered included failure to address changes that were needed in business-process redesign, IT management capabilities, systems integration, infrastructure and various IT "configurations" involved in the transition process, the report noted. Many indicated their misconceptions about what adopting cloud-based services would mean arose due to vendor "hype" and confusion.

For one-quarter of the companies that participated in the survey, the security-related challenges were seen as "extensive" and in general an area where business executives and IT needed to work more closely together to create a cloud-security strategy. However, according to the report, regulation itself did not appear to be a major hindrance to cloud adoption in many cases.