Are you afraid of the big, bad cloud?
In our blog Top 6 predicted technology trends for 2018, we highlighted that Forrester forecasts this to be the year in which cloud platforms cross “the significant 50% adoption milestone” on a global scale. Simply put, enterprises everywhere are moving, or have already moved, to the cloud!
As for the companies that have not, chances are many of their employees use the cloud in their personal life anyway, whether it is to log into their personal email across various devices, store photos taken on their mobile or to watch the latest blockbuster on Netflix.
So, what is holding back these companies from joining the cloud revolution? We take a look at the 4 fears of cloud adoption…
The 4 fears of cloud adoption
Fear 1 – security
Ensuring your business intelligence is secure is a matter of importance at every level of a company. When the HR department is in the midst of a recruiting drive, hiring trustworthy, reliable individuals is as important as their credentials. Therefore, an understandable concern arises with public cloud services, because not only does it require trusting a third party to keep your data secure, but the public cloud pools resources (infrastructure, platforms, and applications) between multiple clients for effective scalability, which could be viewed as a vulnerability.
A company’s IT security is only as good as their IT department or the IT security service they use. Established cloud service providers, employing a sizeable team of IT security experts whose primary function every day is to maintain security, will provide you with a highly sophisticated security system. Some of the most common security vulnerabilities include a lack of time, a lack of resources and a lack of expertise; for the established cloud service provider, these are non-issues.
Fear 2 – loss of control
Not owning the hardware which is being relied upon to keep a business up and running can be a daunting prospect for the risk-averse company. Being able to physically see the malfunctioning server and have the permissions to go ahead and fix it is a hands-on approach that traditional IT departments are familiar with. A CIO may feel they are losing a lot of control by handing over this amount of responsibility to a cloud provider.
There is an important difference to define here between having complete control and having effective control. With the cloud, the most conducive elements of the company’s IT department remain within its control, while tedious tasks, as described above, are alleviated.
Not only is the IT department freed up to do other things, but now they now have the resources to do them effectively because of the scalability the cloud offers. In many ways, the cloud provides a greater degree of control where it matters because scalability removes the leash that comes with a fixed allocation of resources.
Fear 3 – being tied to a provider
Flexibility is an important characteristic to maintain amidst the perpetual winds of change in the world of business. Being able to adapt to changes in the industry is vital for survival. Being tied to one cloud provider is, therefore, a significant fear, whether due to the architecture of the technology used or because of contracts signed.
To avoid this possibly restrictive relationship, some companies will do anything to safeguard their autonomy, even watch advancements in technology pass them by. Is this the right attitude to have?
We would like to debunk this fear straight off the bat for the simple reason that this is the age of the subscription business model! Any cloud provider worth their salt operates with a pay-as-you-go model or short-term contracts. This is because the flexibility that cloud technology is capable of providing is one of its chief advantages.
Fear 4 – the chaos of transitioning
The thought of migrating from a traditional IT environment to the cloud, whether it is a private or hybrid structure, can paralyse some companies. Is that application cloud-ready? Should we virtualise our workloads? Will there be any on-premise resources? How much will it all cost? Who needs to be upskilled? How long will it take? Will there be downtime required?
The list of questions can be endless, and they are all worthy of consideration. However, they all have answers. Working with a cloud provider with the experience and expertise to design a tailor-made strategy that takes account the company’s specific IT environment, business strategy, and expectations is vital for a seamless transition.
Migrating to the cloud is not an all-or-nothing venture, and therefore a cloud provider should be willing to talk through all the options available to determine the best fit for the particular company. Cloud migration is occurring in companies all over the world, and it is a straightforward task in the hands of expert cloud solutions partners.
Insight from our cloud expert
“Some organisations are still wary of the cloud; they don’t really trust it and the perceived lack of security is a huge issue for them. But with the upcoming changes to GDPR, cloud providers have built in full compliance and the environment is therefore very secure. Moving to the cloud will actually make life easier for these businesses, instantly. The cloud offers benefits that businesses can no longer afford to ignore.”Roger Turner, Head of Technical Innovation and Internal Systems