The large majority (80 percent) of IT directors feel under pressure as IT services move to the cloud, with 90 percent believing cloud service providers should take greater accountability and responsibility over data governance.

The unease around cloud accountability is shown in a survey of IT directors as the European Union Cloud Computing Strategy is warning cloud firms not to shirk their data protection responsibilities.

The survey, commissioned by IT services provider Damovo, questioned 100 IT directors at UK organisations across business sectors employing more than 1,000 employees.

It also found that 78 percent of respondents felt that IT management is "being complicated" by the move to cloud.

Also, 69 percent of IT directors have delayed a move to the cloud over the "uncertainty caused by providers' 'vanilla statements' about the benefits". And 67 percent said their disaster recovery and continuity concerns have increased after moving to the cloud.

"These findings emphasise the need for service providers to do more to assist customers in transitioning to the cloud," said Kevin Little, head of client solutions at Damovo UK. "Trusting an external provider with sensitive data and vital IT operations remains a major consideration for IT departments."

Little said organisations needed to receive the necessary guidance, transparency and SLAs from their service providers.

The European Cloud Computing Strategy seeks to cut through the current jungle of cloud standards in the European Union.

The plans, put forward by the European Commission, will also try to establish guidelines for service level agreements in order to build public trust in cloud services.