Flash back to 2011. According to an online survey conducted that year by Trend Micro, of the 1,200 international respondents polled, approximately 50 percent of them said security concerns were a primary reason why they had yet to adopt the cloud. This reticence is perhaps not that surprising for the time, as in 2011 cloud computing was still a relatively nascent technology that had yet to be fully understood in the enterprise.

In the intervening four years however, the technology has advanced to a point where the advantages of cloud computing are now readily apparent and being realized by a wide range of organizations and industries. In this time frame many of the original security concerns at one point cited with the cloud are now starting to dissolve, at least according to one study.

Recently, a study conducted by Ovum, Harris and Vormetric looked at how IT and business decision-makers today view and address the cloud. While the research is coming from cloud security vendors, Forbes contributor Louis Columbus noted that its findings still provide a unique look on where many businesses today stand in regard to cloud computing. In particular, of the over 800 business professionals polled, 54 percent of them said they now keep sensitive data in the cloud. All told, 80 percent of those surveyed use cloud computing in some capacity.

This speaks volumes to the cloud's progression over the past decade. While the technology was once seen as inherently insecure, companies today finally realize that the cloud is perfectly suited for even sensitive datasets and applications. Now that some of the main security concerns are no longer a problem, little is stopping an organization from adopting cloud computing and realizing the many benefits that come with such a move.

What is best cloud deployment option for security-sensitive businesses?
While overall acceptance of the cloud is rising, companies should not rush to put all of their highly sensitive data in the cloud, as not all clouds are the same. When first opting to go with the cloud, organizations have three main types of deployment options to choose from: public, private and hybrid. Of the three, private cloud is the best choice for storing and sharing secure data.

When companies go with a public cloud service provider, they have no control or say about where their data is specifically hosted and who else may be using shared resources. This lack of granular control and insight can severely inhibit the amount of security a given company can apply to its cloud solution. In comparison, by opting for a private cloud solution, a business is given dedicated virtual resources for its assets. This helps to keep it secure and to give the organization granular, exact control over its data at all times. This is why industries that deal with hyper-sensitive data or are governed by strict compliance rules – think e-commerce, finance and health care – are among the biggest proponents of the private cloud, according to CloudTweaks contributor Stan Roach.

"When considering the transition to virtual servers from physical on-site servers, it's important that you consider which type of cloud service best meets your business goals and requirements," Roach wrote last year. "The needs must mainly be prioritized in terms of cost, scalability, security, flexibility and control over data. After considering all these factors, carefully consider the options available from the cloud service provider to make an informed decision regarding the cloud model that is the best fit for your business."

The cloud has progressed significantly over the past five or so years, now becoming a technology that even industries with lots of sensitive data now trust. By opting for a private cloud, organizations can gain all of the benefits of cloud computing without having to worry about the security of their assets.