In the business sector we are increasingly hearing about Cloud Computing, technology that allows remote access to software file storage and data processing over the Internet. Added to this, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value and the need to consider and accelerate its implementation in search of achieving productive changes in the industry’s business model.
Many companies have been gradually incorporating some of their features through an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), renting servers storage, virtualizing services or applying any other of the features offered by the Cloud.
This trend has yielded extremely interesting data. For example, by July 2020, Gartner, one of the most recognized consulting firms and information technology research, predicted an increase in the use of this technology, particularly in Software as a Service (SaaS), achieving an increase of 2.6% and reaching $104.7 billion, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) achieving the $50.4 billion, figures that leave us a clear picture about the expansion and adaptability that the cloud is having worldwide. predictions are that it will continue to increase exponentially. (see image 1)
Image 1. Worldwide Public Cloud Service
Taking into account the above, today more than ever based on its potential, it is when we must ask ourselves: how safe are we when working in the cloud? Is it as economical as they say? Will it really be all “rosy”? Even though it is a predominant trend, not all trust on its usability. Therefore, we want to emphasize on some advantages and disadvantages for you to take into consideration the moment you implement this technology in your company:
In favor of Cloud Computing:
- Easy implementation: provisioning a service or equipment is extremely simple and fast, so, in a few minutes we could have a server configured with your operative system, enter the domain, with a database engine and run some services.
- Accessibility: it is possible to access at any place and at any moment you want. This facilitates the collaboration and interaction between the people that work in different locations.
- Cost: this is one of the most high-known points because it works on the “pay as you go” model, so companies pay only for what they use. Depending on the observable consume’ “peaks”, the use of the services can increase or decrease.
- Flexibility: the users can climb the services to adapt to the company’s needs.
- Efficiency: its recovery plan is more efficient by offering a much faster and more efficient recovery time from falls than on-premises services.
Against Cloud Computing:
- Dependence: Is mandatory to use a particular provider. It is also a constant precaution not having control over its infrastructure and data in case of an incident.
- Standardization: not all the providers offer the same characteristics or tools, what could be discouraging in some cases.
- Redundancy by default: many people assume that as the service is in the cloud, it includes redundancy or a series of additional settings. The reality is that you can have everything, but it must be configured previously by the cloud administrator and it is possible that that redundancy presents an additional cost.
Regarding security, it is very relative. Its use is shared and this depends on the responsibility on how you manage the data, as one part corresponds to the company that provides the service, and the other the organization who hires it.
Gartner states that in 2008 the 60% of the companies that implemented appropriately the control security policies experienced a third less mistakes than the other ones. By the end of 2020, 95% of the security failures were the client’s fault, this means that the companies must be cautious and must not assume that absolutely all procedures made in the cloud will be safe by default. Good practices, security policies and required controls always need to be applied.
So, despite the adaptability and the frequent use in organizations, it is necessary to count with the adequate mechanisms to protect the infrastructure, the code, the services and all we are storing in the cloud. The recommendation is that before making a decision, investigate to understand which provider is appropriate to help you keep the services in the cloud safer, and be constantly informed about news, such as the graph below that informs us about what the hyper circle offers us in terms of security in the cloud. (see image 2)
Additionally to the security topic, it is important to take into account that it is necessary that the organization is willing and ready to adapt itself to this technology and to work in a new way in the cloud. It is not only about adjusting processes; it is also to take a step further by coupling the profiles of professionals who collaborate in the management of cloud services. It is necessary to create more hybrid positions, with varied skills, that speak a common language and that work together, it is also required to have a cloud architect who is responsible for leading any change, developing and coordinating the architecture, and creating a strategy for its later use. (see image 3).
Image 3. Cloud Architect
Taking into consideration the mentioned above, it is possible to take more advantage of Cloud Computing, and besides, use it the best way possible based on the organization needs, and giving the business more value in a competitive sector that each day demands faster, safer and at rational cost solutions.
- Gartner (Julio 2020), «Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 6.3% in 2020». Disponible en: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020- 07-23-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-public-cloud-revenue-to-grow-6point3-percent-in- 2020
- Gartner. «Cloud Strategy Leadership». Disponible en: https://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/books/cloud/cloud_strategy_leadership.pdf
- Gartner (Agosto 2020), «Top Actions From Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Security, 2020». Disponible en: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-actions-from-gartner- hype-cycle-for-cloud-security-2020/
- Stratosphere networks, «Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing». Disponible en:https://www.stratospherenetworks.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of- cloud.html