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Moving to the Cloud with Confidence

Do you remember your very first airplane ride? I do, I was eight and I was headed to Disney World. So a double whammy of happiness – first time on a plane and first time to Disney. I don’t recall being scared to get on the plane, or being nervous when landing, or even when in the air for that matter. The only thing that scared me was take off, and I think that is how a lot of organizations still feel about putting their data in the cloud. It’s nerve wracking to take something that is important to you and your organization and put it someplace where you can’t have 100% control over it.
Why is it so scary to move to the cloud? Why is security still a check box on the list of concerns in moving data to the cloud? Is it really any different or less secure than keeping company and customer data on-premises?
Let’s find out.
The truth is moving your data and services to the cloud is no less secure than keeping it on-premises. Both come with pros and cons, and honestly your data may be even safer in the cloud. A few key items to think about before moving any data or services to the cloud:

  • If you currently have an on-premises server what does your life cycle road map look like in terms of integrating cloud services as the on-premises server ages out?
  • What is your SLA with the cloud provider?
  • What devices and people are you allowing to have access to the data; and what data can they see?
  • Are you planning to move to a private, public or a hybrid cloud environment?

Personally I love this quote from way back in 2011 from a Microsoft blog:
Network World cites this quote from Executive Director of IT, Nathan McBride, AMAG Pharmaceuticals who is building an IT infrastructure wholly in the cloud:
“Security is my favorite topic because I’ve yet to meet a single person who can show me specifically in some legitimate, substantive, concrete way that the cloud is less secure.”
People have been talking about, and concerned about, security in the cloud for a very long time and yet we continue to move more and more data and services to the cloud. Sure there are challenges, because no environment is perfect – on-premises or otherwise – but that doesn’t mean the cloud isn’t secure. For example, there has been years of collective security experience dedicated to designing, reviewing, building, auditing, and monitoring cloud solutions – that organizations can collectively take advantage of rather than having to support in a one-off on-premises private environment.
IDC, for example, shows in the graph below that spending on IT cloud infrastructure will outpace that of non-cloud IT infrastructure over the next 4 years; with cloud spend reaching $53B by 2019, accounting for 46% of the total spend for all of IT infrastructure (up from $32B in 2015).


Obviously organizations are spending money on the cloud so rather than look at security as a roadblock let’s look at it as part of the overall plan when moving data to the cloud. Make sure the security box is checked off.

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