A survey of 500 IT leaders from organizations with more than 500 employees in the US and UK indicates that IT teams are now more than half way over the proverbial fence with an increasing number of workloads shifting to the cloud. What is less clear is to what degree running workloads, whether in on-premises IT environments or in the cloud, has become the new normal or whether it is just a transition period.
Conducted by Snow Software, a software application as a service (SaaS) provider for managing IT assets, the survey found that 68 percent of IT leaders now have a hybrid cloud strategy consisting of both public and private cloud.
Not surprisingly, a third (33 percent) of IT leaders said growing cybersecurity threats were the biggest challenge to infrastructure management, followed by a lack of integration between new and legacy infrastructure technologies (26 percent), meeting governance and compliance requirements (25 percent), and managing spending (24 percent).
When asked what cloud management issue they would like to address in the blink of an eye, nearly a quarter (24 percent) mentioned cybersecurity concerns, followed by a shortage of skilled IT staff (18 percent), and a lack of cloud standardization (14 percent) .
The survey also showed a wide variation in the level of cloud experience. Nearly two-thirds of C-level IT managers (63 percent) rated themselves as experts in their knowledge of different types of cloud services. However, only 20 percent of IT managers, and less than a third of IT managers (32 percent), rated themselves as experts.
MSP can fill the cloud security knowledge gap
As most Managed Service Providers (MSPs) know, the more an executive is removed from IT, the less they know how it works. The survey shows that even after more than a decade of cloud computing, there is still a significant knowledge gap that MSPs would do better to fill.
One of the biggest areas that is particularly lacking in this knowledge is cloud security. This issue has nothing to do with the platforms themselves. Instead, the widely used processes for providing cloud resources are deeply flawed from a security perspective.
Most cloud services are provided by developers directly using Infrastructure as Token (IaC) tools, such as Terraform. Most of these developers have little experience with cybersecurity, so it has become somewhat common for cloud services to be misconfigured in ways that allow data to be leaked through ports that were inadvertently left open.
Cloud security opportunities for service providers focus on enabling organizations to better secure their cloud environments, without necessarily slowing the rate at which applications are built and deployed to the cloud. No matter how insecure cloud applications are, few organizations are willing to sacrifice speed for security, so it is up to MSP to make sure they are both fulfilled and maintained at a time when more workloads are running in the cloud than ever before.
Nearly half of IT leaders (46 percent) claim that cloud services have been critical to operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 71 percent reporting that they have increased overall cloud spending in the past 12 months. A similar percentage (70 percent) also makes more use of public cloud platforms. A third (33 percent) increased their organization’s cloud resource capacity an additional 26-50 percent in the past year, while 44 percent expect to add cloud services to support employees who frequently work remotely.
Cloud computing is now widely used. However, it is clear to each MSP that how well these platforms can be used from one organization to another often varies widely.
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