While cloud computing is bringing about a paradigm shift in the IT industry, cloud environments, despite providing numerous advantages, also have challenges and are prone to risks. Jyothis Joseph, Associate Director, Netrix LLC, tells us more.
DQ: In what ways is cloud computing influencing the IT industry?
Jyothis Joseph: With businesses and organizations growing rapidly, the traditional method of building IT is only escalating costs. This high expenditure and excessive time consumption are witnessed for buying hardware, licenses and servers besides software installation in the traditional IT environment.
Today, with disruptive technologies playing a key role in the industry, physical IT infrastructure is giving way to virtual IT systems, hosted on a cloud. Yes, cloud computing is bringing about a paradigm shift in the IT industry. New technologies have developed, and now, there are various ways to virtualize the IT systems and to access the needed application on the Internet, through web-based applications. This means: no IT costs for hardware or servers.
Talent, equipped with new-age skills and specialties are increasingly in demand with traditional IT roles becoming redundant with lesser need for IT support staff. Traditional IT infrastructure has been replaced with the transfer of more applications to private or public clouds. Software developers will have to adjust the ways they create and deliver applications. Organizations across the globe are adopting new technologies and getting significant RoI.
Now, enterprise cloud providers who offer a managed cloud solution, have security experts on staff managing the applications, with security options included.
DQ: What are the key drivers for the high growth in cloud security software market?
Jyothis Joseph: It is very evident that the cloud security software market is poised for a strong growth in the coming years. Organizations today, are depending to a large extent on cloud-based services for a majority of the operations and managing various data. On the other hand, cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities and breaches are also increasing, leading to security concerns with safety of data on cloud. With employees remotely working, there is an increase in employee mobility with the adoption of BYOD and IoT services. These aspects have brought about a growing demand for cloud computing. This has led to the adoption of cloud-based security solutions, thereby, spurring the growth of cloud security market globally.
According to one of the reports published by Orbis Research recently, the cloud security software market was valued at US$ 28.1 billion in 2018, is expected to reach US$ 35.6 billion by 2024, at 4.98% CAGR during the forecast period 2019-2024.
There is flexibility in building cloud solutions for specific requirements of businesses and they defend a set of authentication regulation of devices and users. Consumers’ privacy and critical data storage are also maintained. Cloud security is becoming more imperative and complex than before, leading to exponential growth in the cloud security software market.
DQ: What are the cloud solutions in demand by businesses?
Jyothis Joseph: The needs of the organization for application and data storage are getting more complicated. So is the IT infrastructure, as the public cloud cannot be leveraged for all applications due to privacy concerns.
A hybrid cloud environment that connects a mix of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises IT infrastructure, is in more demand as it suits the different needs of an organization. Organizations have the flexibility to migrate to cloud technology as and when they wish to.
Multi-cloud strategies are expected to play a key role in the near future. These enable users to leverage any cloud solution (private, public or hybrid) depending on their technical requirements. Application, workload or data can be run on them as per the requirement. There can be multiple public, private or hybrid cloud environments either connected together or remain standalone.
Cloud technologies also provide better security, storage and guidance in decision making. It also automates processes, bringing down the manpower and complexity of machines. More technological innovations and accelerating trends will further support the faster growth of cloud computing.
DQ: State the reasons for cloud computing growing exponentially.
Jyothis Joseph: For organizations with modern IT infrastructure, cloud computing has evolved to a scalable and essential service, far from its earlier version of being just a tool to ensure hassle-free computing experience of users.
It has transformed the way any business environment operates and functions. With more innovations in technology, the growth of cloud computing is growing even at a faster pace. Reports are showing evidence that nearly 80% of the workload across industries are run on cloud, using various trends in cloud computing, and industries are also showing faster growth rate. Cloud computing, together with artificial intelligence, called as ‘The Intelligent Cloud’, has the capacity to process Big Data faster and more efficiently. Computing functions are shifting closer to the source — edge of the network, and is called edge computing. Data analysis in real time is more convenient with edge technologies and helps in bringing down the complexities of interconnected systems. Business processes and operations are getting automated with cloud computing, and organizations are able to remain competitive with cloud computing.
DQ: In future, during the next phase of cloud computing, what would its impact be on organizations?
Jyothis Joseph: Organizations are undergoing digital transformation rapidly, by adopting cloud computing technologies, to stay ahead of competition. Top management, across start-ups to large established enterprises, have realized the importance of cloud technology.
Adopting of cloud computing has several benefits, today and tomorrow. To begin with, it helps in reducing the cost of operations than before. Small startups need not invest in physical IT infrastructure on its premises. Virtualization, by adopting cloud technology, has reduced the cost of installation of hardware and maintenance costs significantly. There is more flexibility with cloud technologies as users can access data and related files from any remote location or device, as and when required. Data is secured with cloud adoption as compared to traditional systems. Cloud services also reduce data loss and supports in becoming compliant with respective standards.
Workplace collaboration is enhanced with cloud collaboration tools. It also helps in integrating services with other organizational functions, such as HR, Marketing and Finance. Moreover, cloud-based services may be scalable to suit the future needs of any organization. It is very evident, there is an increase in use of cloud services, such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Organizations are more readily subscribing for cloud services.
DQ: Cloud environments, despite providing numerous advantages, also have challenges and are prone to risks. How can this be addressed?
Jyothis Joseph: While it is true, cloud storage brings many desirable benefits, almost limitless scale, flexibility and access to other services, it also raises important questions as to how security and compliance are to be maintained. Besides, others challenges of retention of ownership and smooth integration of data stored in public cloud with other business operations.
Today, IT-focused business processes in organizations cannot do away with cloud computing, be it, data storage, document or application sharing, or even accessing and communicating remotely. Despite these benefits, there are potential risks and other challenges too.
The RightScale report found that for some organizations managing cloud spending has overtaken security as the top cloud computing challenge. By their own estimate, companies are wasting about 30% of the money they spend on the cloud. Lack of resources and expertise ranked just behind security and cost management among the top cloud implementation challenges in the RightScale survey. Governance and control were fourth in the list of cloud computing challenges in this survey. Lastly, many organizations, particularly those with hybrid cloud environments, report challenges related to getting their public cloud and on-premise tools and applications to work together.
Other than cloud-focused malware threats, cloud security process has to address other dangerous threats. Shadow IT is one of them. When inconsistent patching can lead to slipping in of other threats. Security processes should be put in place. For e.g., two-factor authentication should replace simple passwords, to safeguard key accounts. Advanced monitoring services should be adopted by cyber-security teams. Innovative and intelligent security solutions are certainly critical to firms. Solutions should provide high-level visibility to support in managing onsite and cloud environments. Security concerns include hacked interfaces and APIs, authentication breakage, etc. Security risk is posed by every organization – all sizes.
Compliance is another risk of cloud computing. Every organization must ensure industry standards are respected and carried out. Other challenges include shortage of expertise, lack of performance and the complicated task of moving applications to cloud. To stay ahead of completion, all cyber challenges should be addressed at an appropriate time, strategically.