With the future looking brighter, companies are contemplating moving more IT operations to public clouds. Here are three things to keep in mind before doing so.
The future is looking a little brighter these days. With the COVID-19 infection rate falling, the US economy growing, and pandemic restrictions easing, companies are beginning to look for ways to improve their operations and their bottom line. One approach is move IT operations or assets (e.g., data) to public clouds.
Using public cloud services is not new. You probably are already using at least one. However, since we are still being affected by the pandemic, it is helpful to keep three things in mind before moving more IT operations or assets to the cloud:
While many industries have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, the cloud service sector has been experiencing tremendous growth. Worldwide spending on public cloud services is expected to grow from $270 billion in 2020 to $332.3 billion in 2021 — a 23.1% increase, according to Gartner.
This growth is not taking place despite the pandemic. It is occurring because of it. The pandemic is triggering many IT challenges for companies, including disruptions in hardware supply chains, fewer employees, and customers’ increased demand for online services. Moving more workloads and data to the cloud is one way that companies are addressing these challenges.
This is evident in the results of Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud study. Ninety percent of the companies that participated in the study said they are using public cloud services more than they had initially planned because of the pandemic — and they expect their usage to increase further. As Table 1 shows, they expect to run more workloads and store more data in the cloud in the next 12 months.
Table 1: Percent of Workloads and Data in the Cloud
|Current Level||Level Expected in 12 Months|
|Percent of workloads run in the cloud||50%||57%|
|Percent of data stored in the cloud||46%||54%|
So, if you were thinking about moving more workloads or data into a public cloud, you do not have to worry about the health of public cloud industry. It is thriving.
When public clouds first arrived on the IT scene, most companies were very reluctant to use them. Businesses were mainly concerned about whether a cloud service provider could adequately protect their IT operations and assets.
Nowadays, 97% of companies use at least one public cloud. Thus, it is safe to say that most businesses are confident in their cloud service providers’ ability to protect their IT operations and assets. Yet, studies show that cloud security is still an important issue for businesses. For instance, the participants in the Flexera study ranked security as the top cloud challenge.
So, why do companies trust their cloud service providers yet still worry about security? They likely realize that security is a moving target. “Hackers continue to increase their sophistication, necessitating constant attention to cloud security,” according to Flexera.
Cybercriminals are continually refining their tools, their techniques, and even their targets. For example, a Netskope study revealed that, in 2020, cybercriminals began targeting trusted cloud apps when they learned that employees were increasingly using those apps while working from home. As a result, the percentage of malware delivered through trusted cloud apps jumped from 48% in 2019 to 61% in 2020.
The upshot is that you should not take cloud security for granted and simply assume that the cloud service provider will take care of securing your business’s IT operations and assets. Doing so can result in unfortunate consequences.
Companies often turn to the cloud to save money, but they usually end up spending more money than needed on cloud services. When the Flexera study participants were asked to estimate how much money they think their companies waste, they believed it to be 30 percent of their public cloud spend.
That is a lot of money being wasted considering that 76% of the participants said their companies were spending $1.2 million or more annually on public clouds. If you break it down by month, this means these businesses are wasting $30,000 every month [($1,200,000 / 12) x 30%].
Overspending on cloud services does not make good financial sense. So, before you move more IT operations and assets to the cloud, you should perform the necessary research and assessments. We can guide you through this process if you need assistance.