Today, practically every business uses cloud computing in some form or another.
Thanks to cloud technology, many digital “products” are available as managed services, such as infrastructure, platforms, software, back up, disaster recovery, unified communications or even desktops.
The model for all of them is pretty much the same: a remote data centre providing a cloud-enabled service to your business and its locations.
Cloud computing passes the COVID test
Cloud computing has become especially popular as businesses wrestle with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses have leveraged it to support remote working, and some businesses even used it to support fluctuating demands online.
That shift is reflected in spending patterns. Gartner recently forecast that worldwide spending on cloud by large companies would grow 18% in 2021. “The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” said research vice president at Gartner, Sid Nag.
Garter forecast that the proportion of IT spending shifting to cloud will accelerate in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, rising to 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020.
That seems to be a h4 endorsement of cloud computing. At a time of critical stress for businesses, cloud computing proved its mettle.
Cloud brings security benefits
While cloud is recognised for its agility, flexibility, scalability, cost savings and governance, security is often overlooked.
Yet it actually offers significant benefits in this area.
Take your newly remote workers, for instance. Many are likely using their personal PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphone devices to access your company data and applications, over a home wireless and broadband connection.
These employees are downloading company data to a device that may not be secure, and then sending it back to the company network. This presents real danger if their device or home network is breached or compromised – they become a launch pad for an attack on your network. Cloud computing helps to eliminate this risk because company data is securely stored and accessed.
Greater control of data and devices
Applications and data stored in the cloud are harder to compromise or breach because they never leave the cloud. The cloud-based application or data is independent of the employee’s PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
With a service such as Office 365, for example, files, documents and data don’t need to be stored or exposed on those endpoint devices, and with the right settings, they can’t be copied locally or printed.
The same is true for office-based workers accessing cloud-based applications and services. In other words, cloud makes it possible to provide a consistent level of access and security to all employees, inside or outside the organisation.
When it comes to securing the devices, a cloud-based mobile device management service, such as Device Manager Cloud (VDM Cloud), provides employees with seamless usage of business apps and tools through any device. It keeps them secure and ensures only the right people have access to certain types of information.
If you’re moving data and applications to the cloud, you need to be reassured they will remain secure and protected, whether onsite or in the cloud.
Your data in the cloud needs to be in compliance with multiple security and data privacy laws, regulations and standards.
It’s easier to feel assured when your data is stored on premise and securing it is your responsibility; rather than relying on a third party, where your data is one step removed.
In the rush to adopt cloud-based applications, services and platforms, did your business have time to complete a cloud security assessment to help identify vulnerabilities? This is essential to ensure you have the right tools in place to protect the business through its cloud journey.
A security assessment offers a clearer view of the security issues for your cloud initiatives and key risks around them. This can help reduce and mitigate risks.
Connectivity is a potential vulnerability
Your connection to the cloud, private or public, needs to be highly secure. Relying on the performance and security of the public internet isn’t always enough.
As businesses become reliant on a hybrid mixture of on-premise, private and public cloud, connectivity will become integral to their operations. You may need a blend of fixed, mobile, 4G/5G, broadband and internet.
In short, it’s important to get the right connectivity for the right service.
With public clouds such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, for example, a service such as Vodafone Cloud Connect provides a secure, private connection. It reduces the risks of the internet and the complications of dedicated lines.