Aptum has announced a report which examines the complexities inherent in hybrid cloud environments and their implications on security, data governance, compliance and disaster recovery. In particular, it finds that while companies are convinced of the value of cloud computing, its drivers have evolved.
Drivers to the cloud
When it comes to the value of cloud, 91% of respondents consider cloud computing to be essential for data management. In fact, 54% believe cloud transformation has had a positive impact on data governance.
While financial considerations have traditionally been a common driver, the study shows a shift in focus for many organizations, especially as security concerns evolve and continue to be top-of-mind:
- 50% of respondents cited efficiency as the top motivator for cloud investments
- Increased security is the second most important business driver for organizations investing in cloud computing, with 48% of respondents citing it as a key factor in their investment
- Resilience is also a primary driver of cloud computing investments for 40% of companies
During the pandemic, organizations had to hastily increase their cloud deployments to support the increase in remote work, enhance business resilience and enable greater flexibility. As a result, many businesses naturally moved toward a hybrid model. In fact, 86% of respondents said their organzation has adopted a hybrid or multi cloud approach to cloud deployments.
For many organizations, the move to hybrid has meant their environments have become increasingly complex as data and workloads are now located across a range of cloud and non-cloud infrastructures.
As a result, many are grappling with complexities traditionally associated with hybrid cloud environments, such as data and workloads being located across a range of cloud and non-cloud infrastructures. Of those respondents, the top challenges cited in managing their environments include control and governance of access to cloud environments (90%); a clear mechanism to detect and respond to security threats across all environments (90%); and the ability to efficiently meet requirements of compliance audits (90%).
Impacts on security
The study showed that managing security effectively is no longer just an issue of securing data within each environment; data must also be secured as it moves between locations.
“Businesses use different environments for different purposes. A platform for application development and another as a production site, for example. That’s where you achieve the benefits of a hybrid cloud environment,” explains Marvin Sharp, VP of Product Strategy at Aptum.
“But moving workloads between the two environments puts data at risk. Therefore, in a hybrid work environment, organizations need to consider securing point A and point B, as well as the movement of data between them.”
When it comes to disaster recovery, the study’s results tell a similar story of complexity. Disaster recovery is amongst the top reasons organizations are continuing to move data to the cloud, with 37% of respondents citing improved data backup services and disaster recovery as a driver. However, 87% of respondents cite the ability to provide Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to the business as a key consideration.
“Disaster recovery is traditionally thought of as being in one environment – usually very secure public or private cloud facilities,” says Sharp. “Various experiences of downtime during the pandemic confirmed the importance of a coherent disaster recovery strategy. But as hybrid environments become more widespread, disaster recovery becomes more complex, and it’s likely to become more dispersed as a result.”
Strategy is key to cloud transformation
The study’s results reveal that only 20% of organizations surveyed have a holistic cloud strategy in place. The other 80% have a fragmented approach to cloud transformation that lacks the necessary big-picture thinking.
The results also reaffirm a singular holistic cloud strategy must have security principles embedded in its design at the earliest stage possible. By doing so, businesses can take an integrated approach to security, mitigate threats and minimise risks across their entire infrastructure stack. This will eliminate any disconnect between the cloud’s promise of secure, reliable operations and what organizations will actually experience.