Although cloud concerns continue to whirl, they mostly exist around cloud migration and integration ─ the how, not the why.
So how did cloud integration become so widely accepted? Who was the first to hop onboard and what platforms are taking off the quickest? We will address all of these cloud adoption trends as we dive into the findings of Insight’s 2017 Intelligent Technology Index.
Cloud integration assumptions
By definition, cloud integration assumes your organization already has an on-premise data center or server environment. Most of the companies with investments in private servers, storage and networking solutions either have Capital Expenditures (CapEx) to invest up front, or need to keep their data on-site to maintain control. This includes large enterprises, as well as state and local government agencies, financial institutions and healthcare organizations. Historically, these institutions largely utilized an on-premise infrastructure.
On the contrary, Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) were the first to really embrace the cloud, according to the State of Cloud Computing in Business. This stems from the ease of paying for software on an “as-a-service” model, out of Operational Expenses (OpEx). In other words, the marketing department at a SMB doesn’t have to ask for a large investment from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to try out a new data analytics platform, when they can easily approve a small monthly fee and month-to-month contract.
What is a cloud-based system? “The cloud” is basically a data center or group of data centers owned and managed by a service provider or cloud vendor. The data lives outside of the end-user’s server with a chosen provider, is accessible from anywhere, and maintained and managed by that provider. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two popular public cloud vendors. Essentially, those who take advantage of the cloud for business can rent space on an outside server without having to worry about data center upkeep.
The benefits of cloud migration
As stated earlier, there are many benefits to adopting a cloud-first strategy. In addition to the easy financial model, backup and replication are built into the cloud, making your data safer than if it was hosted on-site. Cloud vendors are in the business of data availability and security, so your IT team will not receive a call if the power goes out or there are internet issues making your data and apps inaccessible. Public cloud providers will likely have teams working on an issue before a reported problem occurs and they have many data centers for redundancy, so outages aren’t as likely to occur.
For the first time, experts are saying these benefits are widely known. Findings from Insight’s 2017 Intelligent Technology Index show most IT pros believe the benefits of the cloud outweigh the challenges. The majority also believe their data is safer in the cloud.
“In 2016, 84% of medium and large organizations invested in cloud services. Likewise, nearly half have migrated more than 50% of corporate application workloads to public clouds,” according to the report.
Respondents also reported that cloud integration leads to an improved IT environment with more flexibility, collaboration and access.
Cloud concerns do still exist.
While it’s safe to say there are benefits to cloud adoption, lingering worries still exist for some organizations.
The 2017 Intelligent Technology Index reports that when choosing a cloud provider, 63% of IT professionals feel that data security is paramount. While they are not necessarily saying that the cloud isn’t secure, they are dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s to make sure everything’s in order from a security standpoint.
While performing a cloud migration is a source of anxiety for many IT pros, the data still shows most businesses are already accessing many cloud benefits. The best way to avoid migration risks is to hire an experienced service provider, with plenty of expertise around application and cloud data migration.
The concerns that exist mostly center around disruption from implementing new technology. Mostly though, they still believe the benefits outweigh the challenges.