The Effects of Growing Complexities in Public Cloud Services
With the exponential growth of the use of cloud services, there have been a growing number of questions for how to maintain service with cloud solutions. Here, April Miller explores several concerns.
The public cloud market is going through sustained growth. Research from Statista expects the sector to reach nearly $415 billion in 2022 and the expected compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2027 is 16.27%. However, with the public cloud’s success comes increasing complexities that can cause problems for people who have adopted or want to adopt the public cloud.
1. HUGE NUMBERS OF NEW FEATURES AND OPTIONS
Many people initially feel overwhelmed as they browse public cloud offerings. A December 2022 blog post from Gartner shed light on why that’s the case. It showed the number of new features or options launched by public cloud providers each year.
More specifically, rel="noopener noreferrer" AWS issued a staggering 10,695 announcements in 2022, representing a gigantic jump over the 16 published in 2006. Relatedly, the company provided 3,084 new services or functionalities in 2022 versus 80 in 2011.
Even if many of those changes and upgrades ultimately benefit customers, the advantages are not necessarily immediately apparent. For starters, people may need help analyzing whether a new feature is genuinely worthwhile for their businesses. That’s because it’s often difficult to pull information from a press release and determine how it applies to a particular company and its needs.
Then, depending on how the new features function or the kind of expertise someone needs to use them, a company may need to hire or reskill employees to get the best outcomes after opting for a new public cloud feature or service. That makes it necessary to weigh the pros and cons of getting or deciding against particular offerings, which can be challenging when examining a recently released upgrade.
2. CLOUD CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH REMOTE ACCESS
The public cloud has undoubtedly opened new and exciting opportunities for people to do things without leaving their homes. They can schedule and go to virtual doctor visits, then use the cloud to access appointment notes or care recommendations later. Individuals can prove their skills as job candidates by demonstrating foreign language proficiency. Cloud platforms allow such examinations to occur from the comfort and privacy of home.
Cloud technologies also unlock opportunities to hire people from anywhere. Plus, offering a remote-work option could improve a company’s retention rates. A 2022 study from Avanti indicated 71% of people would rather work from anywhere than get promotions.
As much as the cloud has changed things for the better by helping activities happen remotely, it has also introduced new security and management concerns associated with the public cloud. A 2020 AppOmni report investigated how IT professionals use software-as-a-service (SaaS) products to support remote working aims.
One of the findings was 66% of respondents said the transition to remote work left them with less time to manage and secure SaaS applications in the cloud. Another worrisome takeaway was 68% used manual techniques to find data-exposure incidents. Such efforts are often too time-consuming and less effective than fully or partially automated methods.
As companies become more dependent on the public cloud for remote working and otherwise, IT teams are likely to continue dealing with these challenges, particularly if they don’t iron out concrete plans for overcoming them.
3. SECURITY SHORTCOMINGS
As moving to or using the public cloud becomes more complex, the likelihood of security problems can also rise. Data from the 2022 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study revealed a 3.4 million cybersecurity professional shortage that prevented companies from adequately securing their assets and organizations.
That significant gap in people with the necessary skills typically makes it more difficult for companies to hire because it extends the timeframe for securing new candidates. Then, since cybersecurity professionals are in such high demand, hiring managers may need to get approval to improve benefits packages, raise salaries, or take other strategic actions to make unfilled positions more appealing.
The public cloud in particular heightens the need for solid cybersecurity within organizations. Consider how a 2022 study from Laminar indicated 50% of public cloud users experienced breaches during 2020 or 2021.
Moreover, 82% of people polled raised concerns about so-called shadow data or information unknown to those at the organization. When employees don’t know the kind of data a company has and where it is, they can’t store and manage it with the proper regulations that keep sensitive details safe.
A different study published in 2022 by the Cloud Security Alliance revealed 67% of people use public clouds to store sensitive data or workloads. Another takeaway was 31% were not confident or only felt slightly confident they could keep that data well-secured.
Expanding public cloud usage will most likely exacerbate security-related issues rather than improve them. Indeed, parties using the public cloud have numerous security features at their disposal. However, as companies branch into using more public clouds or dealing with multiple providers, the visibility needed to protect assets adequately often needs improvement.
PUBLIC CLOUD COMPLEXITIES MUST NOT OUTWEIGH BENEFITS
These are only some of the increasingly prevalent complexities associated with public clouds. However, they’re not indicators that people should ignore the well-known advantages of the public cloud and steer clear of it. Instead, anyone interested in using the public cloud for the first time or scaling up existing dependence should evaluate the likely or known complications. From there, they’re in an excellent place to plan how to reduce those challenges and perhaps avoid them entirely.