As we kick off the New Year, it’s not surprising that IT managers, CIOs and business executives are making good on their plans to update data storage systems and cloud infrastructure to support and advance business success in the year ahead. And two trends that we saw take off in 2014 – private and hybrid cloud solutions – continue to be top priorities for organizations.
A recent survey by Current Analysis, an IT and telecom business intelligence firm, found that 58 percent of the 600 worldwide respondents using cloud services are based on private cloud infrastructure. Further, 28 percent of those same users have expanded their infrastructure to include a hybrid cloud environment.
In another survey from U.S. investment bank and asset management firm, Piper Jaffray, three-quarters of the 112 CIOs who were asked about 2015 plans for security, software-defined networking and the cloud, said they planned to allocate budget to private, public or hybrid cloud projects.
So why are organizations shying away from strictly public cloud environments, when companies such as Amazon and Google offer simple, affordable cloud infrastructure? Security. In both surveys, respondents indicated that security was a top concern and deterrent for implementing public cloud solutions. In fact, 35 percent of CIOs from the Piper Jaffray survey said security was the main reason why they decided to implement on-premise data storage solutions.
The truth is security is a concern regardless of the cloud environment your organization decides to implement – here are our top tips to achieving a best-of-breed cloud solution, while maintaining control of your data:
Take the time to tier your data: One of the key aspects to moving your data to a cloud or hybrid cloud environment is understanding that one size does not fit all. Of course, your most secure and business-critical data might need to be encrypted or de-duplicated in a traditional data center environment, but that doesn’t mean all of your data needs those specifications. Take the time to tier your data and implement a solution that delivers the security, latency and performance your organizations needs. My colleague and SVP at Markley Group, Devon Cutchins, wrote a great article about tiering data in the cloud here.
Consider your employees: Shadow IT has been a popular topic of discussion across the industry for awhile now, and for good reason. You could implement an expensive, top-of-the-line cloud infrastructure, but if your employees aren’t going to use it, it probably won’t do much good in terms of data governance. They’ll still utilize rogue, individual cloud solutions, such as Google Drive, to share and interact with corporate data. This type of behavior is not only an information security nightmare, but it likely violates many industry regulations, like HIPAA in the healthcare industry. When implementing a cloud infrastructure – private, public or hybrid – make sure it’s conducive to everyday employee use and productivity.
Select the right service provider: Unless you’re a large organization with an unlimited IT budget, there’s a good chance you’ll have to partner with a third party provider for cloud infrastructure and data storage solutions. When selecting a data center provider, it’s not only important for them to understand and work toward your organization’s goals, but they should also be constantly developing, implementing and managing technology products and solutions. These are the type of technology-advanced providers discussed in this past Markley Group blog post.
What type of cloud infrastructure is your organization working to implement in 2015? If your plans are still up in the air, shoot us an email and our experienced team can discuss a wide range of on premise data storage solutions, as well as private or hybrid cloud services.