2022's most pressing cloud challenges

Despite the disruption and changes the pandemic unleashed on our world, technology continues to iterate through inevitable cycles of adaptation, innovation, and change. The worldwide shift to remote work, for example, placed a huge burden on IT infrastructure, ultimately quickening the pace of digital transformation. With this comes several challenges that IT leaders must navigate and balance.

According to the Foundry’s (formerly IDG Communications) 2022 Cloud Computing Survey, controlling cloud costs, data privacy and security, and securing expertise across in-house and supplier teams, are the three core challenges that will determine the success of cloud investments in the months and years to come. 

Survey findings indicate that not only is cloud adoption on the rise, but IT decision-makers are beginning to default to cloud-based services when upgrading or purchasing new technical capabilities.

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With cloud now setting the agenda for future IT infrastructure, what are the pitfalls and opportunities to be aware of and how can IT leaders put their best foot forward to address these key challenges?

Controlling Costs in Cloud-based Services

Considering the costs of owning, operating, and maintaining a traditional data center, and the associated common wastage around redundant servers, fiber internet, and secondary buildings; moving to the cloud delivers considerable advantages and cost benefits to a business. This is particularly true when comparing cloud application hosting (IaaS), backup (BaaS), and disaster recovery (DRaaS) alternatives.

36 percent of IT decision-makers in the Foundry Survey cited "controlling costs" as one of the main challenges when implementing cloud technology. This is because price doesn’t necessarily equal cost when it comes to cloud services, especially when considering hyper-scale clouds like Amazon, Azure, and Google.

In reality, there is no "one size fits all" solution for cloud investment, and the multitude of hidden costs can deliver a severe blow to IT budgets. Instead, IT professionals must fully assess and understand the best combination of cost and performance to meet their specific business and application needs. True "pay per use" consumption can create an economic advantage and a stable cost model that can be scaled as required, with straightforward pricing predictability.

Data Privacy and Security 

Data privacy and security are critical concerns for every business. According to the latest estimates from Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime costs are expected to grow by 15 percent year over year. By 2025, the damages could reach a staggering $15 trillion annually, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Data breaches can occur differently in the cloud than in on-premises attacks. In addition to the traditional malware-based attacks, attackers can also exploit misconfigurations, inadequate access management, stolen credentials, and unsecured APIs.

Many companies may not realize that their existing security strategy and legacy tooling, such as firewalls, are not fully adequate to protect assets hosted in the cloud. So, businesses must fundamentally reconsider their security posture when utilizing cloud assets. Across the 'shared responsibility' model of cloud, both internal tech teams and cloud providers play a role in protecting the organization’s data.

A robust cloud data security strategy should cover all data across networks, as well as within applications, workloads and other cloud environments. It should also include controlling data access for all users, devices and software, and provide complete visibility into all data on the network. is important that this is applied across all types of data including ‘data in use’ across all apps and endpoints, data in motion as it moves across the network and data at rest, stored in any location.

Lack of In-House Expertise 

The remote workforce vastly increased workloads for IT professionals. At the same time, according to a Forrester survey, 65 percent of cybersecurity professionals say they have "considered leaving their job because of stress". Unfortunately, these factors compounded to create a massive shortage in cybersecurity skills. In the US alone, there are currently 714,548 cybersecurity job openings and only enough qualified workers to fill approximately 68 percent of them, according to Cyber Seek data

With high demand and low staff supply, organizations are turning to cloud providers to fill the gap. In fact, the demand for managed security services is on the rise and the global market is forecast to reach $46.4 billion by 2025.

As companies seek to ease the burden on internal IT teams and redouble their focus on strategic business initiatives, having access to an expert external support infrastructure can side-step the expense and risk of building in-house solutions. 24/7 access to highly experienced, certified engineers, customizable solutions, and enterprise-class security services can deliver water-tight growth and cost efficiencies to enterprise business.

Image credit: Tom Wang/ Shutterstock

Brian Knudtson is Director of Product Market Intelligence, 11:11 Systems.

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