Missing the Boat on Cloud Computing

Businesses are embracing the cloud like never before, moving data, applications, software development environments and entire IT infrastructures to these efficient, cost effective frameworks. According to a study, at least half of IT spending will be Cloud-based in 2018, reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure, and 60–70% of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020. Yet, many IT and corporate managers are still finding that their transformation to the cloud is going far slower than they had anticipated, with so many new technologies and trends to keep up with.

Here are six warning signs that your IT strategy might be missing the boat on all that the cloud has to offer:

1. On-Premise Data Centers Are Doing Most of Your Work

Most companies know the value of moving at least some data processing activities to the cloud; the challenge is knowing just how much. It turns out that companies are moving data processing at lightning speed to the cloud, and in huge volumes. According to a Cisco report, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers by 2021, with only six percent being processed by traditional data centers. And global cloud IP traffic is similarly predicted to more than triple over the next five years. Executive teams are finally embracing the cloud to these extremes, and the trend will continue.

2. You Haven’t Made Investments in PaaS

Platform as a Service, or PaaS, is a subset of the software as a service sector that provides a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, empowering software teams to build and manage their own enterprise apps. According to KPMG, PaaS adoption is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms,  growing from 32 percent adoption in 2017 to 56 percent adoption in 2020. PaaS includes all of the things that IT and development teams need to be successful, including cloud-based servers, storage, networking, middleware, development tools, analytics, and databases. Moving development to the cloud is an innovative way to streamline and optimize the entire app development lifecycle for huge business benefit.

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3. You’re Hooked on a Single Cloud

As is often the case with new technology frameworks, companies usually test their cloud strategy with one infrastructure and expand when they are comfortable. Unfortunately, some teams wait too long to adopt new cloud options, and that can hurt their productivity. According to a RightScale survey, multi-cloud strategies are now the preferred course by enterprises, with 81 percent of companies now employing a multi-cloud approach. The survey also reported that companies are already running applications in 3.1 clouds on average, and experimenting with 1.7 more, for a total of almost five clouds per enterprise.

4. You’re Spending More on Private Vs. Public Clouds

It’s only natural to want to keep your data, applications and critical systems close to the vest. That’s why many organizations have focused on building private clouds that they can control inside their own network. But powerful public cloud platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are as popular as ever, and more and more companies are going with public clouds. This is because public clouds have several advantages over a private cloud like updated technology and hardened security due to better economies of scale, and greater elasticity along with better utilization rates, making it a far more economical approach. Cisco estimates that by 2021, 73 percent of the cloud workloads and compute instances will be in public cloud data centers, up from 58 percent in 2016, whereas private cloud datacenters will manage only 27 percent of workloads, down from 42 percent in 2016.Public cloud appears to be the big winner in mind and market share.

5. You Lack a Centralized Cloud Security Protocol

With cyber crime on the rise, companies must build a security framework that takes cloud access into account. In the last measured year, the number of data breaches in the United States amounted to 1,579 with close to 179 million records exposed. The nature of the cloud enhances the number of individuals that can access applications and network resources, and that access must be monitored and controlled to prevent cyber security attacks like ransomware, which is predicted to soon exceed $5 billion in damage costs to enterprises. Cloud security must keep pace with the threats.

6. Cloud Dollars Are Going Down the Drain

No one ever said implementing advanced technologies like cloud infrastructure would be painless, but cloud users are wasting much of their spend. One study reports that organizations are wasting 35 percent of their cloud spend, and optimizing cloud costs is a top new initiative in 2018, increasing to 58 percent from 53 percent last year. Companies should be laser-focused on automated policies to optimize costs such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions.

Fortunately, even if you find yourself burdened by one or more of these danger signs, there is still time to develop strategic initiatives to improve cloud performance, security and cost control. Start by empowering you cloud architects with the right skill sets and on-the-job know-how, and results will surely follow.