From heads in the Cloud to eyes in the Cloud
Cloud adoption has been rising year by year for some time now, with Gartner predicting this trend to accelerate beyond 2020. It has long moved on from its earliest days, where it was largely regarded as an intriguing concept but unsuitable for enterprise-level applications. Now, with a wide range of options available - including Public, Private and Hybrid solutions - it has become a highly attractive prospect for organisations at all levels, especially against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the resulting advancement of remote working. While these trends are very much the latest stage in a long process of transformation, the pandemic has undoubtedly been the catalyst behind much recent Cloud adoption, as organisations accelerate their journeys towards a distributed workforce.
So, where does that leave us in terms of the biggest question: "Is Cloud right for my organisation?"
The lingering questions
Despite recent trends, concerns remain around the Cloud, which makes establishing a robust long-term cloud strategy challenging for many organisations. These include:
- Security and compliance. The most common obstacle to Cloud adoption remains the security of critical data. The perception remains that physical, on-premise storage is inherently more secure than an external, Cloud-based solution. As a result, many organisations continue to utilise on-premise legacy systems that are costly and time-consuming to scale up.
- Cost control. A Private Cloud solution has long been offered as the answer to security concerns, but the CAPEX involved in implementing such a solution is a serious concern for many organisations, in terms of both the hardware required and the potential for business disruption during the migration period. Public Clouds certainly offer a more affordable option, but compliance and security concerns around such solutions persist.
- Migration challenges. This is an issue for many longstanding organisations who are using legacy technologies (tape, for instance) to accommodate industry-specific compliance requirements regarding how and where data is stored and managed. In spite of the potential advantages offered by a Cloud migration, these concerns, coupled with the potential downtime, make organisations reluctant to begin the process.
- Visibility. With cyber security challenges evolving year by year, security professionals and internal IT teams need maximum visibility on every area of the IT environments they protect, in order to anticipate and respond to potential threats. We still regularly hear questions around whether Cloud solutions offer sufficient visibility and whether they will require security teams to surrender a certain level of control
The Cloud responds
This is where the flexibility of the Cloud really shines, as both the technology and Cloud providers have evolved considerably in response to these concerns.
The ability to securely connect IT environments to the Cloud offers further advantages, as it means organisations can scale their migrations, keeping some data on-premise, while moving some to either a Public or Private Cloud. This not only keeps downtime to the absolute minimum, but helps organisations meet their compliance requirements while simultaneously enjoying the cost savings of a consumption-based billing model (a major advantage when we consider the spiralling cost of long-term storage).
Finally, security is the critical element that ties all this together. Historically, some of the most pressing concerns around Cloud technologies stem from the lack of visibility. Security professionals have universally (and rightly) been hesitant to adopt any technologies where they have been unable to monitor all endpoints. However, security has moved on. There are now multiple ways - including Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds - to achieve full visibility of your infrastructure, ensuring it remains secure and that your data is always protected. With these elements in place, far from surrendering control over their infrastructures, security professionals enjoy an unprecedented level of visibility, autonomy and flexibility. This includes both adding or removing resources as needed, and anticipating and responding to potential threats, with automatic updates and intelligently applied automation streamlining this process.
When we consider all these developments in a wider context, we've witnessed the Cloud's growth into a truly mature technology as we continue to build on our recent successes and discover new opportunities for innovation. To find out more about this journey, register here to join our webinar on Tuesday 16th June at 14:30.
Our Managing Director, Mukesh Bavisi will be discussing the importance of the Cloud in our 'new normal' with our panellists Chris Christou, Director of Engineering, Mark Belgrove, Head of Cyber Consultancy, Afshin Attari, Director of Public Sector and Unified Communications and Jonathan Bridges, Chief Innovation Officer, along with numerous other topics.