What is Cloud Adoption?
The Cloud comprises of software and services that reside and operate on the Internet rather than on a local computer or an on-premise network of servers. Cloud adoption refers to a strategy that is used by the enterprises for improving the scalability of Internet-based database capabilities and thereby reducing the costs and risks.
In order to achieve this, businesses engage themselves in cloud computing practices or using the remote servers that are hosted on the Internet to store manage, and process critical data. Hybrid cloud computing is a newer concept, that combines one or more cloud providers with a private IT infrastructure that is designed for a specific firm.
The benefits of cloud adoption strategy include the ability to store the privileged data in a private cloud and leveraging the technological resources from the public cloud in order to run the applications that rely on private data.
How Cloud Adoption Works
For making a transition to the Cloud, the organizations need to take care of the following critical steps-
The top management of any business must assess the opportunities and challenges of employing a Cloud computing strategy in their marketplace. Additionally, researching popular vendors within the industry, business leaders and their technology should glean data on the challenges and successes of past adopters in their respective segments.
Once organizations have done their research, they need to plan their specific Cloud strategy. The IT leaders need to choose only those platforms and services that are well-known to their respective industries. They also need to make a call on selecting either- a hybrid, public or private cloud.
In the adoption phase, IT leaders need to develop risk mitigation strategies. They should also have an expert understanding of their in-house servers, software, and data centers for future reiteration and scalability of their strategy.
By having regular meetings with the executive team, the IT departments of an organization can discuss the lessons learned in their Cloud computing strategy and create new and improved solutions for newer processes and tasks.
Types of Industries Benefitting from Cloud Adoption
Following are some of the industries that gain benefits from the Cloud adoption-
The healthcare industry is driven by digital and social consumer behaviours. The need for secure and accessible health records, hospitals and other medical organizations use Cloud computing for the purpose of document storage, marketing as well as human resources.
- Marketing and Advertising
This industry is heavily dependent on social media as well as quick creation & publishing of the customer-relevant content. Such marketing and advertising agencies have been using hybrid Cloud adoption strategies for delivering critical messages to their local and global audiences.
Any successful e-commerce strategy needs to have a sound Internet strategy. Using Cloud adoption, Internet-based retail is now able to effectively market to its customers and save on the product data for less money.
For any finance organization that exists, efficient expense management, human resources, and customer communications form the most important business needs. Due to these reasons, the financial services institutions have now placed their email platforms and marketing tools on the Cloud.
Internet-based education is gaining more popularity these days. The Cloud has allowed the universities, private educational institutions and the public schools to provide their learning, homework and the grading systems online.
Security Concerns in Enterprise Cloud Adoption
Businesses that are in transition to the Cloud face concerns regarding the safety of their sensitive company as well as the customer data. In order to ensure that information is not lost or compromised by the means of data breaches or account hijacking, following are some essential Cloud security considerations-
- Use of Secure Interfaces and APIs
The enterprises need to take care for ensuring that software user interfaces or UIs and application programming interfaces (APIs) are updated and are safe. Consistent management and monitoring of reputable tools help in protection against the malicious and unforeseen breaches and errors.
- Prevent Vulnerabilities of System
The program bugs allow hackers to take control of the Cloud systems or even steal data. By keeping a track of system updates and quickly identifying vulnerabilities can help in eliminating this type of risk.
- Creating Employee Training Programs and Disaster Plans
Natural disasters, accidental deletion by the user and insufficient due diligence towards Cloud adoption can be some of the factors that lead to the loss of data and malicious attacks. Enterprises, irrespective of their size need to create a Cloud computing roadmap and employee training programs in order to mitigate these concerns.
Challenges in Enterprise Cloud Adoption
- Selecting the Right Cloud Service Model
The enterprises have a large number of options to choose from the various types of cloud computing- either private, public or hybrid. Similarly, the enterprises have the option to select computing resources over the Internet by the means of cloud service models- IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
Enterprises regularly find it challenging to decide on the right cloud computing platform and the cloud service models that can be in accordance with their precise business requirements and goals.
- On-Premise Integration and Cloud Infrastructure
The enterprises are unable to migrate all of their software applications to the Cloud. Similarly, they need some time for migrating all of the corporate and customer data to the Cloud. Hence, enterprises need to maintain an on-premise IT infrastructure along with building a customized Cloud computing environment. The enterprises may not be able to carry out their businesses smoothly without the integration of the on-premise and cloud IT infrastructure. Businesses often find it challenging to integrate an on-premise and IT infrastructure because of a number of external and internal issues.
- Reskilling Existing Employees
The infrastructure of the Cloud is completely different from the on-premise infrastructure. The existing employees in the organization need to have specialized knowledge and skills to work with Cloud-based technologies. The organizations have to reskill and upskill the existing staff fin order to keep their efficiency and productivity intact in the new environment. Organizations must provide adequate training to the existing staff for leveraging the Cloud-based tools to optimize the business processes. Many enterprises often find it challenging to educating and training their employees regarding Cloud technologies.
- Resolution of Data Security and Privacy Issues
Once an enterprise has migrated its corporate and customer data on the Cloud, the sensitive data will be stored and processed in a remote location. The enterprises lack the option of monitoring the location at which data is stored and preventing data breaches. Thus, no enterprise is able to take advantage of Cloud computing without completely addressing issues related to privacy and data security. The leading Cloud providers thereby make it easier for enterprises to keep their data secured by providing a range of robust security features and tools. Though, enterprises still find it challenging to eliminate any chances of data loss completely and hence ensure immediate recovery of data.
Global Adoption of Hybrid Cloud Services
The global Cloud market was valued at $272.0 billion in the year 2018 and is expected to reach $623.3 billion by the year 2023. The growth of this market is expected to be at a CAGR of 18.0% during the forecasted period (2018-2023).
Growth of Global Cloud Market
The key growth drivers in the forecasted period can be credited to increased automation and agility, the need for delivering enhanced customer experience, and increased cost savings & return on investments. Data being prone to cyber-attacks and lack of skilled labor are the factors that can stagnate the growth of the Cloud computing market.
The retail and consumer goods industry vertical industry is expected to be one of the fastest-growing vertical in terms of the adoption of emerging and innovative technologies like- cloud computing, big data analytics, DevOps, and social networks. The various factors that are responsible for this adoption include- the purchasing power of customers and the need to satisfy customer expectations which can lead to the retention of the existing customer and acquisition of new customers. Online retailing and cloud technologies have disrupted the verticals of retail and consumer goods, which has led to the adoption of cloud computing primarily for storage, backup and security services.
The region of North America is the most mature in terms of the adoption of Cloud computing services. It is mainly due to the presence of a large number of enterprises that have advanced IT infrastructure and the availability of technical expertise. The region of Asia-Pacific is expected to offer significant growth opportunities for the vendors of Cloud computing in the forecasted period. Many organizations in this region have adopted Cloud computing services mainly due to advancements in emerging technologies, IT infrastructure services, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The adoption of one or another technology should be done by the evaluation of the economic processes of the organizations. IT is supposedly an integral part of a business and technology is needed for supporting or improving the economical processes. Before going for the Cloud, the enterprises need to study their processes and evaluate the risks and advantages that can be brought to their business. As the small and mid-size companies have less complex processes, they need to be the first ones in the business category to adopt Cloud computing services. One of the important advantages that is offered by the Cloud includes the reduced cost. The enterprises need to study the value that Cloud services bring to their organization and this value is often defined under two parameters, namely- utility and guarantee.