More than four out of five Hong Kong companies deploy cloud services to reduce CAPEX (62%), as well as to gain competitive advantage around scalability (54%) and IT savings (51%), said Rackspace that released results of its new cloud survey on Wednesday.

The independent survey was commissioned by Rackspace, and involved 712 IT decision-makers across Hong Kong, Singapore and India, according to the company in a statement.

Although general cloud adoption in Hong Kong stands at 84% -- compared with 79% in India and 73% in Singapore, the most popular uses among the respondents are relatively basic applications, such as databases (71% used some type of cloud computing for this purpose), email (65%), back-up (63%), servers (62%) and storage (56%), survey results indicate.

Only a minority of those surveyed use cloud computing for strategic or more complex purposes such as application testing (29%), collaboration solutions (29%), disaster recovery (27%), and supply chain (19%), Rackspace said.

In contrast, the recent findings of a different study by Rackspace shows more organizations in the UK and the US are using cloud for activities beyond basic functions. For instance, almost two out of three (64%) of the US enterprises involved in the study use public, private or hybrid clouds for disaster recovery, and 62% use cloud computing for testing and development.

Hong Kong firms' top cloud concerns

Results also reveal that security (67%), a lack of understanding about how cloud works (51%), and costs of implementation (41%) are top concerns of senior management when it comes to cloud.

"These concerns are potential barriers to the full adoption of cloud computing technologies in Hong Kong," said Ajit Melarkode, managing director of Rackspace Asia Pacific, "that cloud vendors must address directly when educating companies in the region about how they'd get the best out of cloud computing.

According to Melarkode, hybrid cloud solutions, for instance, can provide a way to get both the security and potential compliancy of private cloud and the scalability of public cloud.

In total, 82% of the Hong Kong respondents who aren't currently using cloud said they are planning to do so. Of these, 51% are considering a transition within the next 12 months, and another 45% within one to two years.