Regulatory hurdles may be falling, but organisations must focus on the wider benefits of public cloud if they are to maximise its potential
As public cloud continues its expansion into mainstream IT, the traditional barriers to adoption appear to be coming down, encapsulated by a recent study by McKinsey suggesting that security concerns around cloud are not as prominent as they once were. Despite this growing ease with the safety of public cloud – coupled with industry guidelines becoming more conducive to cloud adoption – organisations must not fall into the trap of thinking that 'lifting and shifting' their servers will see them glean the full advantages of the technology. This is according to managed services provider Claranet.
According to the McKinsey study, CISOs are now less likely to ask security questions of the big cloud providers, and are now more concerned with working out how they can make their own practices and hardware more secure. This greater faith in the security of public cloud is backed up by a growing familiarity amongst auditors of the ins and outs of the technology.
However, according to Sam Bashton, Head of Public Cloud Practice at Claranet, these developments should not obscure businesses’ judgement when it comes to addressing the challenges of public cloud adoption, and what needs to be done in order to make the most of it. Bashton said:
A big mistake that companies often make is that they believe that simply lifting their servers from private cloud to public cloud is all that needs to be done as far as migration is concerned. With regulations becoming easier to handle and old concerns such as security becoming less pressing, it can be easy for businesses to fall into this mentality."
However, such an approach is not necessarily much cheaper than maintaining the status quo, and this puts organisations at risk of failing to make the most of the agility that public cloud can bring by utilising it in the best possible way. Instead, it’s important that businesses realise that public cloud has much more to offer than just lifting servers to an external data centre. The services that AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform offer encompass a much wider range of business objectives, meaning that they are important not just to server migration, but also in helping the business become more efficient and innovative in general."
To ensure that organisations do not lose sight of public cloud's full potential amid this growing confidence towards the technology, Bashton believes that partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) that has specialist expertise in this area can be hugely beneficial. He added:
By enlisting the support of an MSP, businesses can quickly learn the detailed advantages or disadvantages of a particular provider, and which options work best for their specific requirements and workloads. MSPs bring a joined-up approach between the cloud providers and end user, meaning that businesses receive a high level of tailored support. This ensures that adopters reap the full rewards of public cloud, going well beyond a more simple 'lift and shift' job."
Public cloud adoption is getting easier and there is much less need for businesses to be apprehensive about its security or efficacy than in the past. However, these changes should not give way to complacency. For public cloud to truly be a success, organisations must realise that there are still steps that they must take to ensure that they implement a solution that increases innovation, frees up IT staff from time-consuming maintenance tasks, and makes a tangible difference to how the business is run."