80% of businesses are thinking cloud first … But there’s a major obstacle

A recent survey finds that 80% of organizations are looking to go full steam ahead with cloud services. The problem, however, is they may not have the people in place to make that a reality. 

According to the Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky report by Intel Security, more than four-fifths of organizations give preference to applications that can be purchased as a service or deployed in the data center. The report refers to this growing group as Cloud First.

At the same time, there’s a real struggle for making this cloud vision possible. The average respondent thought it would take close to 15 months for 80% of their budgets to be devoted to cloud services.

And the cybersecurity skills gap is also rearing its ugly head. Nearly half (49%) of organizations have slowed their cloud adoption and usage because of a lack of qualified cybersecurity pros or skills. Roughly another 40% have continued to push on with cloud projects and adoption despite a lack of security skills.

Public cloud becoming go-to

One interesting development from the survey: More and more companies are moving away from the private cloud, once seen as the only way to have a secure cloud experience.

From 2015 to 2016:

  • private cloud use shrunk from 51% to 24%, while
  • a hybrid (private and public approach) expanded from 19% to 57%.

Some of the reasons that these private cloud organizations have begun to embrace some aspects of public cloud include:

  • lower total cost of ownership (59%)
  • visibility of the organization’s data (54%)
  • the belief that the organization’s data is already safe (51%), and
  • use of a proven technology (51%).

The result is that now 74% of organizations storing some or all of their sensitive data in the public cloud and 62% of organizations store personal customer information in public clouds. More than half (51%) store staff information in the cloud, 47% store proprietary company information, 32% store competitive data and 30% store network passwords.

Added security is best

If you use public cloud for some services – and from these survey results, it’s likely you do – it’s important to make sure to rely on more than just the standard security measures that come with the service.

One added layer of security could be encryption of all cloud data. This will help ensure nothing that is compromised or stolen can be read by prying eyes.

But maybe the best rule is to not use the public cloud for information you deem too sensitive to fall into the wrong hands. If you’re more confident in your own security than that of the cloud provider, do everything you can to keep it in-house or use a private option instead.

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