Business leaders have more confidence in cloud computing than the organisation's technical managers. That is according to business Internet service provider Star, which found that UK CIOs have dismissed security concerns about cloud computing.

The company has released the results of a survey which found that 44 percent of business managers believe their data is more secure in a professionally managed data centre than on their own premises, compared to 34 percent who thought that data was more secure in-house. This is in stark contrast to an IDC survey last year which found that 75 percent of IT executives thought that security was a major inhibiting factor in adopting cloud computing.

"We wanted to investigate this," said Martino Corbelli, Star's marketing director. " We wanted to see whether there was still the belief that security was a major issue for companies." He said that business leaders were more willing to trust to third party providers than their technical counterparts were. However, the company didn't examine the opinion of organisations' technical managers. "That's our next step," said Corbelli.

He admitted that it was perceived wisdom that security was a big issue in cloud but said it was time to overturn that perception. "We have to stop hiding behind the idea that security is an issue," he said. "Business leaders now accept this, the challenge now is to stop the IT managers hugging their servers."

The survey also looked into major business challenges for 2009, revealing the ongoing importance of cost-control in these difficult economic times. The biggest challenge for 38 percent of managers was the need to reduce costs. This was followed by the ever present desire to grow their business (36 percent), improve operational performance (20 percent) and access new technologies (6 percent).

Star has also released Cloud Computing - what does it really mean? a free guide for businesses looking to adopt clouding.