Despite its Challenges, Cloud Computing is Still the Way to Go

A recent “state of the cloud” report reveals interesting points that highlight the growing prominence of cloud computing. The report, which surveyed 753 technical and business professionals worldwide, shows how important cloud adoption is becoming. Its use cases have expanded, and more organizations are enjoying the benefits of moving to the cloud.

A number of cloud trends have become more apparent or pronounced over the past year. These developments may present challenges, but they also show opportunities. They demonstrate the kind of responses cybersecurity professionals and organizations are doing to take advantage of cloud technology without making security compromises.

Cybersecurity as a top concern

In the state of the cloud report mentioned earlier, security is identified as the top cloud challenge. Around 85 percent of organizations aver that security is the top challenge they encounter as they embrace the cloud. Also, some 83 percent say that the lack of cloud expertise and resources is a concern for them. Many are keen on going to the cloud, but there are also those that hesitate because of perceived difficulties.

What’s great to know, however, is that cloud security has been steadily improving. New solutions have been developed to specifically address the issues associated with cloud adoption. The introduction of the Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP), for example, is a big boost to cloud security.

A security buzzword introduced by Gartner, CNAPP is designed to provide a single holistic solution to take the place of several independent tools, particularly for organizations with cloud-native workloads. It offers multiple advantages when it comes to cloud security, as it simplifies security management while reducing cybersecurity costs. It is described as a logical cloud security evolution aligned with DevSecOps and the “shift left” principles.

On the other hand, significant research and development and related investments have been made by cloud market leaders to address new cybersecurity needs. These expenditures have yielded great results so far, as shown by the kind of security solutions available now. The biggest names in cloud computing are showing how serious they are in addressing security threats. Google, for one, is on track to acquire Mandiant, a threat intelligence and cybersecurity firm, to beef up its cloud security capabilities.

All of these negate the reluctance about cloud adoption as far as cybersecurity is concerned. Certainly, the available solutions are not perfect, but they significantly lower the hurdles created by security concerns.

Cloud overspending and wasted spending

Another important finding in the “state of the cloud” report is the tendency of companies to have wasted cloud spending. This is a major issue that has become more crucial recently because of across-the-board inflationary developments around the world.

The report shows that company allocations for their cloud strategy in 2021 have been “over budget” by around 13 percent. This unnecessary spending results in wastage or inefficient financial management. Companies may be buying hardware and software that are not needed at present or in the immediate future.

Interestingly, the same panel of respondents says that they expect their cloud spending to increase by 29 percent in the next year (2022). There appears to be an anticipation of higher expenses in the next year, without realizing the possibility that they could have been overspending over the past year.

Clearly, there is a need for organizations to have better spending perspectives and keenness for cost optimization. Many organizations commit the mistake of investing in cloud technology for the sake of being on the cloud. They are treating it as the endgame itself, instead of being something that serves as a path towards the unlocking of various potentials.

While it can be argued that the cloud is the way to go, moving over this path should be based on logical decisions, especially when serious amounts of money and other resources are involved. Annual public cloud spending is projected to be in the range of $2.4 to $6 million. Cloud-related expenditures should be carefully planned not only based on the latest trends but also on their suitability to an organization’s needs.

Top cloud initiatives

In the same “state of the cloud” study, a number of top cloud initiatives have been identified for 2022. On top of the list is the optimization of existing cloud infrastructure and assets. This is mainly aimed at reducing costs, but it also includes security optimization to prepare for more aggressive cyberattacks. As pointed out, cybersecurity and overspending concerns have been prominent in cloud usage. It is not surprising to see these as the top initiative for organizations.

The other top initiative is the migration of more workloads to the cloud. As organizations experience the actual benefits of going to the cloud, they are starting to be more comfortable in further embracing the technology and relying more on it.

Third on the list is the shift from on-premises software to SaaS. This is true even for cybersecurity solutions. There are cloud-based security solutions designed to unify cloud protection and ensure better cyber defenses.

Next is about progressing on a cloud-first strategy, which seeks to promote the building of software right in the cloud instead of developing it conventionally then moving it to the cloud. Cloud-first is associated with the advantages of faster software building and overhead reduction.

Finally, organizations are seeking to improve their financial reporting on their cloud costs. Again, cloud adoption has been mired by financial inefficiencies. Organizations are trying to change this by being more systematic and accurate with their cost accounting and cost-benefit analysis.

Next, organizations are moving towards automated policies for cloud governance. As more activities are relegated to the cloud, the management or supervision tasks correspondingly become more time and effort-consuming. Automation reduces the cloud maintenance burden and frees up precious time and resources to address more important issues.

Moreover, organizations are now coming up with initiatives that target the expansion of the use of containers as well as the management of software licenses on the cloud. Both of which are in line with the goal of optimizing operations on the cloud.

In conclusion

Research firm IDC projects that global spending on cloud services will go beyond $1.3 trillion by 2025. That’s higher than the GDP of more than 90 percent of the countries and territories of the world. The rise of the cloud is undeniable, but this comes with the caveat that corresponding cyber threats are also increasing and there is a need for cloud adopters to further optimize and explore more options to take full advantage of what cloud computing has to offer.

Cloud computing has yet to reach its peak. There is a lot more to explore and more benefits to make good use of. There are challenges along the way to adopting it, but these should never become reasons to quit or hesitate.

BALAJI is a Former Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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