By Michael Norring, President and CEO of GCSIT
Creating an efficient and successful infrastructure is one of the most important jobs of an IT leader. Through the years this has meant many things, but the backbone of all great infrastructures must now be agility. If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for anything.
Whether pursuing a public, private or hybrid cloud solution, scalability and agility are key. Agility means not letting your infrastructure be what holds you back. Sometimes the biggest challenge for cloud adoption is changing people’s mindsets. A move to the cloud can be daunting to leaders and managers, even within the IT department. Here are three considerations to help change minds:
- Patchwork infrastructures are no longer good enough. For decades, IT networks have been built like the Great Wall of China—static and unmovable, capable of encountering anything and remain unchanged. This structure is meant to last, not to evolve. Throughout the years there have been changes forced to maintain operability when infrastructure problems have come up and leaders have come up with fixes that work quickly and keep people moving. But what about meeting challenges as they happen or even better: Changing before something breaks? That’s what the cloud can enable. Engineers and IT departments can push fixes immediately and innovate faster than ever before when the network lives on the cloud.
- Cloud computing can scale up and A recent survey with IDC found that when evaluating IT solutions, one of the most prevalent issues that leaders face is managing cloud costs. It’s a very real concern since the cloud migration services market was valued at $119.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 448.34 billion by 2026. However, one of the overlooked benefits of the cloud is that it allows the business to scale up their services quickly—and scale down if business markets change. As we sit in the “are we or aren’t we in a Recession” economy, one way to assuage concerns is by highlighting the scalability and adaptability the cloud offers. If the market turns down, so can cloud availability and investment.
- Data volumes are rising higher than current systems can keep up with. By 2025, researchers believe that there will be over 100 zettabytes of data stored in the cloud—a unit of measurement that the whole of internet information didn’t even reach one of until 2016. Half of the projected global data storage amount of 200 zettabytes will be stored in the cloud, in comparison, only 25% was stored in the cloud in 2015. With the rise of remote work, it’s no secret why. Networks must be available across the world, but still safeguard connection and security. The move to the cloud is escalating. In order to maintain agility with IT resources for an ever-changing world and ensuring security, moving to the cloud is the best path forward.
- The cloud guarantees the next generation of security. Enterprise systems have long relied on the premise of: Bad guys out, good guys in. The attitude being that controlling the perimeter can keep networks secure. But with the majority of work taking place online in regulated industries like banking and beyond, network security no longer takes place in the same building usually not even the same zip code. During the pandemic, the FBI reported awards of 4,000 security complaints per day. Everyone who has access to the network can be compromised—whether intentional or not. Therefore zero-trust network access is the next step in maintaining security across all infrastructures. Zero-trust requires that all users be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before being granted access to anything on the network. Gartner predicts that in just one year—by 2023—60% of enterprises will phase out their remote access VPNs for zero-trust network security.
Just like remote working used to be the exception and not the rule, moving to the cloud is no longer a surprising decision for small, medium and large enterprise IT teams. Although migrating to the cloud can be a complex process, there is no one right way to transform your infrastructure.
With a billion-dollar industry invested in cloud migration, there are experts and opinions everywhere. The right partner can help you determine if your needs fit more with public, private or hybrid options, or if you should migrate wholly or in pieces. Being able to meet the challenges that we see coming—and the ones we never could—is why the move to cloud is just one more step in developing an agile mindset.