Global cloud market to hit $1 trillion, but 63% of executives report lack of resources

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Global cloud migration continues to fuel a market expected to reach the trillion dollar milestone in 2028. According to Facts and Factors, cloud will grow from $429.6 billion in 2021 to $1.0257 trillion in 2028 However, a recent report by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Quali, found that 63% of IT professionals and decision makers surveyed say their organizations lack support for a variety of cloud resources.

While the cloud offers scalability, growth, availability, lower costs, and faster time to implementation, it also presents challenges that are often underestimated or misunderstood.

Businesses continue to invest in the cloud to host their online business for several reasons. As the era of data sprawl sets in, omnichannel strategies flourish, and new applications are developed to deliver enhanced customer experiences, organizations prefer cloud infrastructures because of capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operational expenses (OPEX).

Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and application development tools are another reason companies are moving to the cloud. Unfortunately, cloud security and IT resources are often taken for granted.

Cloud success brings growth but also challenges

It’s not all bad news for those leveraging the power of the cloud. The Forrester Consulting report from Quali, titled; “Evolve and Innovate with Infrastructure Automation,” found that 57% of executives surveyed say their organizations have met or exceeded their performance expectations. This growth has prompted companies to continue investing in cloud technologies. But in this expansion plan, organizations are struggling to achieve their top priorities.

“Current infrastructure capabilities prevent organizations from scaling as quickly as decision makers would like because they lack the necessary resources, support, or information,” the report says.

Organizations that operate in multicloud or hybrid cloud environments are most affected. Governance barriers slow businesses down and prevent them from growing quickly.

Moreover, organizations are already experiencing the consequences of these cloud-related challenges. More than half (58%) of respondents say their business has experienced greater risks, 52% say they have incurred unnecessary expenses and “costs” and 51% say problems limit their ability to innovate.

The cloud is touted as the ultimate infrastructure solution for storing data and systems and managing them through dashboards and visualizations, but 60% of IT managers complained about insufficient reporting, dashboards and analytics. More than half of respondents say they need more support for provisioning approaches and complain about the lack of support for hybrid models.

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Cloud Security Challenges

Data loss, compliance, cyberattacks and ransomware in the cloud are becoming more and more common. IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach 2021” report studied 537 breaches in 17 countries and uncovered some that relate to cloud security costs.

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach for companies that underwent “very significant digital transformation” during the pandemic was $4.26 million. Organizations at an advanced stage of cloud modernization lost an average of 252 days to identify and contain a data breach.

IBM’s Security Report calculated that a public cloud breach costs an average of $4.8 million. For private cloud breaches, IBM set the cost at $4.55 million, and for hybrid cloud breaches the cost is $3.61 million. And cloud breaches continue to grow at an alarming rate.

Adservio explains that misconfigurations of the cloud are one of the main causes of attacks. Cloud environments added to the increase in terminals also create a larger “digital surface”. Cybercriminals will use phishing, account takeover, malware, and DDoS attacks to find the weakest entry point.

Additionally, organizations that depend on their cloud environments to function can be prevented from running their business if their cloud systems are compromised. Ransomware attacks often cause organizations to shut down their operations.

Cloud complexity and new technologies can also lead to human error and security misconfigurations. Finally, compliance, loss of visibility, data and workloads in cloud environments are also issues.

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What are organizations looking for in the cloud?

According to Forrester Consulting, the top priorities for cloud leaders are customers, performance, and speed. The cloud is the perfect place to shape, create and deliver multi-channel marketing brand experiences for new or existing customers. This trend is transforming every industry, from retail to automotive.

The Forrester for Quali report found that organizations are turning to the cloud to execute these customer experience strategies. They specifically want to increase cloud applications that serve their customers and generate more revenue.

Organizations have also learned the hard lessons from global disruptions during the pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine, the freight and logistics crisis, the gas inflation crisis and regional international tensions. Supply chain disruptions have wreaked havoc on almost every industry, from essential products to superconductors and chips.

The cloud has offered companies modern and powerful solutions to better manage supply chains, suppliers and distribution. Cloud data analytics can monitor demand and inventory and cloud tools like AI or digital twins can predict disruptions and identify opportunities to optimize a supply chain in the face of disruptions.

Business leaders interviewed by Forrester Consulting for Quali agreed that “improving resiliency to deliver their products and services uninterrupted in a consistent manner” was a top priority.

Scaling and governance are also top cloud priorities. In terms of business value, 58% of respondents say they want faster infrastructure, and 59% want faster automation of hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Business leaders are eager to continue to grow their cloud business and infrastructure. They believe that the cloud, with all its automation and benefits, will improve efficiency and productivity and provide better time to market. However, initial enthusiasm for disruptive cloud technologies has died down.

Organizations and businesses are beginning to wake up to a new cloud reality. They are now focusing their efforts not just on migrating, operating, and scaling in the cloud, but on tracking results, detecting resource shortages and vulnerabilities, and hardening their operations.

Norma A. Roth