Nearly 70 percent of high-ranking technology professionals believe that security will be less of an obstacle to greater cloud and software-defined data centre (SDDC) adoption by the end of 2016.

The new 2016 State of the Cloud and SDDC Study from HyTrust surveyed more than 500 C-level executives, directors, vice presidents, IT managers, engineers and other tech leaders in large and medium enterprises in the UK and US to understand the issues and trends related to deploying an SDDC.

More than two-thirds (67 percent) of business leaders and IT pros feel that data breach/security risk will likely or more than likely slow migration to the SDDC. Over half (55 percent) feel there will be more data breaches and other security issues.

Respondents from the C-Suite expect to see security as less of an obstacle (74 percent), 54 percent expect to see more breaches, 18 percent expect fewer breaches, and 33 percent expect to see fewer breaches - but only after a strategic focus on security. 

Professionals at the manager level on the other hand have different views. Less than two-thirds (62 percent) expect to see security as less of an obstacle, while 39 percent expect more breaches, 10 percent expect fewer breaches, and 33 percent expect to see few breaches following a renewed strategic focus on cyber-security. 

Security concerns rank as the number one issue (45.6 percent) that keeps organisations from virtualising all applications, including those identified as mission-critical. Budget restraints come in second at 20 percent.

The most important large-scale deployment of SDDC strategies and technologies is effective automation. A large number (90 percent) of respondents agree with that premise. IT systems admins and engineers understand it more than any others (93 percent).

“This survey is truly interesting in that it uncovers a new level of maturity in organisations pursuing a SDDC leveraging virtualisation and the cloud. It's long been happening, but now faster and with greater conviction and comfort than perhaps ever before. Security and privacy have always been the critical inhibitors, and no one denies that these issues still concern senior executives,” said Eric Chiu, president of HyTrust.