Cloud Anxiety in the Enterprise: Why companies are missing the blindspot
By Tricina Elliker
Cloud applications and storage has finally become a realistic option for organizations of all sizes which makes building and maintaining large, costly data centers no longer necessary for an enterprise. It’s for this reason, entire industries, like healthcare, are transitioning processes and products away from the old style of onsite data centers and relying on a combination of cloud services to do the work.
Brands that do make the switch deliver better services and products at a lower cost with more flexibility and scalability than the old systems. So why haven’t all enterprises made the switch?
The new standard
Companies large and small, investors, nonprofits — not to mention entire industries, like finance, entertainment, and insurance — are all starting to make the shift to using the cloud. What was long foretold in the columns of every tech blog that cloud-based business would become the standard, well it is finally here. Industry giants already seeing great returns for cloud investment are turning around to invest more.
This year cloud-related IT costs will make up half of IT spending, and Gartner predicts the cloud market growth will rise from $209.3B to $246.8B this year, an increase by 18%.
Even public agencies and governments are moving to the cloud. These organizations have long-standing reputations for being slow to enact policy changes, and even slower to adopt new technology. And yet, some governments seem to be adjusting to the cloud faster and easier than the private sector — at least when it comes to larger businesses.
That, most experts say, must change eventually. It has to. Right?
After the Infor Federal Forum 2017 event, Doug Van Dyke of Amazon Web Services, was quoted in an interview saying, ‘The number of organizations going ‘all in’ with the cloud without hesitation proves it is no longer the next big thing, but the new standard.”
So where’s the hold up when it comes to enterprise infrastructure? Outdated security concerns appear to be the biggest obstacle. When jumping to entirely new systems and processes, it’s smart to be cautious, cloud-based applications have been at the receiving end of more than their fair share of wariness.
Handing over your data — whether that’s your own data or your company data — requires a high level of trust. Combine that with sensational headlines that helped stoke cloud fear all over the country, and no wonder so many executives have been reluctant to take a chance on the cloud. After all, executives read the newspaper too.
Data breaches at the DNC, Yahoo, Wendy’s, and a number high profile brands made 2016 a record high year for business hacks. Understandably, many people are now concerned about data security and stopping or preventing any move to cloud services.
This move may make executives feel safe, but it’s hardly the most cautious way forward. And though they might want to, enterprises can’t recreate the security of a cloud service entirely in house without blowing the budget. Cloud services brands are more efficient at what they do than an enterprise cloud department could ever hope to be. Building the kinds of products from scratch that cloud brands provide is an unrealistic dream and an absolute waste of resources.
Gartner laid out the cloud migration hesitance best last year when they said:
“Virtually all public cloud use is within services that are highly resistant to attack and, in the majority of circumstances, represent a more secure starting point than traditional in-house implementations.”
In fact, Gartner went on to point out that unfounded security fears are distracting CIOs and CISOs from adopting the best processes to keep the company up to date and free from compliance mistakes.
Not only do most cloud services providers manage to create more secure systems more efficiently, the focus on cloud vulnerabilities ignores the real security threat to an enterprise: the human element. It’s not where the data is stored that’s most sensitive, but how the people who have access to the data treat their security processes. Gartner projected that by 2020, “95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”
It’s clear then, that the most secure way forward for any enterprise is not to avoid cloud software, but to embrace it while adopting more stringent security practices, company-wide. Educating every team member on data security risks will do more to prevent breaches than stanchly holding onto internal servers.
While we have no way of knowing exactly how fast cloud adoption will take place, Morgan Stanley estimates that 20% of workloads are already on the cloud, and the cloud services industry shows no sign of slowing down. The future is in the cloud, and as more enterprises discover how safe and efficient cloud products are, that number is only expected to rise.
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