At the moment, interest in cloud computing is booming. As businesses continue to operate remotely, the ability to access data safely and securely, while finding new opportunities to scale up and innovate is a vital business imperative for many organizations. So much so, that Gartner predicts that cloud-native platforms will underpin more than 95 percent of new digital initiatives by 2025, an increase from less than 40 percent in 2021.
Further still, a recent global study by Forbes among C-suite executives also showcases the emphasis placed on digital innovation strategies as they steer organizations towards growth, with over 75 percent of CxO’s planning to invest in tools that enhance collaboration, strengthen cybersecurity and accelerate cloud and data analytics.
But despite this recent surge in interest, some organizations are put off by numerous factors – myths and otherwise – which detract from the attractiveness of cloud technologies to some degree. From worries about migrating legacy software over to these programmes to broader concerns over value, security and data protection, businesses might be wrongly under the impression that cloud technologies are not a good fit for them.
Dispelling myths around cost
The expense of investing in cloud technologies alone is perhaps one of the biggest deterring factors for businesses – but on the whole, this is a result of misunderstanding.
Many companies may assume, whether it is true or not, that the cost of cloud migration is just ‘too expensive’ to warrant making the switch. Fear of the unknown and a lack of clarity around the actual costs involved can lead to apathy among business leaders when it comes to driving digital change. Further, for smaller-sized businesses, a bigger focus on short-term survival and day-to-day operations can sometimes stall the pursuit of longer-term digital innovation strategies.
As with all aspects of corporate decision-making, defining the company’s long-term goals and having the right information at hand can go a long way. This includes gaining an understanding of the different solutions available in the market and assessing the right infrastructure size that will best suit the company’s needs. Shopping around to determine which provider offers the security, performance, flexibility, support and pricing options that match an organization’s requirements will be key in ensuring that business leaders stay on budget and drive the greatest return on the firms’ cloud investment.
In many cases, once the full benefits of cloud migration trickle down, businesses will find that the cloud is a much more efficient means of resource allocation. Away from the intricacies of managing data center hardware and large packages of legacy software, the cloud offers more flexibility to adapt and scale up. Effectively, this means that businesses end up saving more in the long-run. This can be especially important for start-ups, who can harness the power of cloud and GPU computing to help solve challenges derived from their reduced scale and lay a strong foundation for their business. They can gain an increased flexibility of resources, lower infrastructure costs, greater agility and improved ability to scale to name but a few benefits.
More generally, businesses of all sizes will be able to pursue more general digital transformation goals at a much greater pace with the cloud, which will no doubt pay dividends when it comes to their operational efficacy and driving long-term value out of their investment.
Legacy platforms play a part
Another prime concern for businesses is the issue of legacy platforms. Particularly for larger firms, who tend to have deeply entrenched hierarchies and bureaucratic structures, the prospect of cloud migration may be shelved until a later date. This is largely due to the mindset that ‘failure isn’t an option’ and an over-reliance on long-standing monolithic tools that no longer serve their purpose – meaning that cloud computing projects become lengthy and complex.
In this case, it is vital for companies to re-evaluate their benchmark for digital transformation. In today’s digital economy, where remote work reigns supreme, these organizations must prioritize cloud goals by re-assessing their pre-existing tools. It will be vital for business leaders to ask difficult questions about whether legacy programmes are meeting their requirements, and if they will continue to do so in the future, as cloud resources become more prominent. Compatibility also raises some questions – how will current platforms play out in the cloud? If there are any apprehensions about the ability of these products to operate effectively further down the line, then it might be necessary to begin looking to other tools.
Likewise, reluctance to migrate over to the cloud is indicative of a larger problem: businesses who are set in their ways. In this instance, I would advise firms to set a cultural reset in motion. Technology is already a pressing concern for most organizations, and without investment in the latest and greatest, businesses will find themselves lagging behind. Convincing staff and board members alike that new technologies will make them more competitive, resilient, and efficient is no mean feat, but it will be well worth the effort later down the line.
Perhaps topping the list of concerns for businesses is the idea that the cloud presents security issues to firms looking to store their data – so much so, that according to a recent Coalfire survey, the vast majority of organizations (93 percent) stated that they were moderately to extremely concerned by security issues associated with the cloud. Worse yet, these businesses said that these worries have placed obstacles in front of their plans for cloud adoption.
The thing is, these worries typically come as a result of the fact that many businesses are lulled into a false sense of security where physical data centers are concerned, and the idea of keeping their data where they can see it, so to speak. Nevertheless, this is a myth; most security breaches do not occur as a result of a physical break in and happen due to a more general failure to protect data. Indeed, there is no human security guard that can ward off a virtual attack.
Consequently, organizations would be better off re-evaluating their security protocols, rather than dismissing the cloud entirely. Pinpointing weaknesses and working out how effective current measures are when it comes to shielding data would be a good start. In many cases, businesses will require a more robust package of solutions to ensure that they are amply protected, and thereafter, they will be primed for cloud adoption. Investing in multi-functional cloud tools that can carry out audits and automate compliance would be an asset to businesses, too.
No doubt, the process of cloud migration is an involved one, and it is only normal that businesses will have some reservations heading into the process. That said, I have no doubt that with careful consideration, making the leap will be well worth the investment.