As the state of cloud computing continues to evolve, how are customers and service providers handling the inevitable growing pains?
Change. Our world has experienced an incredible amount of it over the last two years, to say the least. When large-scale societal change occurs, more often than not, technology is in the driver’s seat — or riding shotgun. From the Bronze Age to the Industrial Revolution to the dawn of the internet, the two have gone together like PB&J.
This is also true in our pandemic-shaped world where, once again, technology had no other choice but to pave the way for adaptation and innovation. The worldwide shift to remote work, for example, placed a hefty burden on our IT infrastructure, ultimately quickening the pace of digital transformation. For many organizations, this meant cloud adoption.
Cloud Computing in 2022
Earlier this year, Foundry (formerly IDG Communications) released its 2022 Cloud Computing Survey detailing the latest cloud computing trends among technology decision makers. Its findings indicate that not only is cloud adoption on the rise, but IT decision makers are beginning to “default to cloud-based services when upgrading or purchasing new technical capabilities.”
But change doesn’t come without challenges.
According to Foundry’s research, technology decision makers identified a number of common obstacles around implementing a cloud strategy, including:
- Controlling costs
- Data privacy and security
- Lack of in-house expertise
If cloud-based services truly are the new norm, how IT professionals, their organizations, and cloud service providers address these challenges will determine their success or failure in the months and years to come.
Sounds important, right? We thought so, too. That’s why we decided to poll a number of our own cloud customers to learn how they navigated similar obstacles and why they chose the solutions they did.
“Moving to the cloud will save you money.” This common refrain is all but assumed as truth when comparing cloud application hosting (IaaS), backup (BaaS), and disaster recovery (DRaaS) to the costs associated with owning, operating, and maintaining a traditional datacenter.
And yet, 36 percent of IT decision makers in the Foundry Survey cited “controlling costs” as one of the main challenges when implementing cloud technology. This is because price doesn’t necessarily equal cost when it comes to cloud services, especially when considering hyperscale clouds like Amazon, Azure, and Google. Before you deploy, you must first fully understand the best combination of cost and performance for your specific business and application needs.
Here’s what our customers have to say about their experience managing costs in the cloud:
Steve Broeder, IT Manager at American Fire Systems: “Having worked with large hyperscale cloud providers in the past, I know how big those cost gotchas can be — with ingress and egress fees you have to pay coming and going. And those hidden costs can really sneak up on you … iland checked all my boxes and provided everything that I needed, especially when it came to pricing. They really won me over with the quote they brought to the table. It was a real stable cost model that allows me to scale up or down and still have a very accurate picture of what our expenses will be now and moving forward. iland solves for those classic cloud gotchas with simple pricing for predictability.”
Benjamin Hewitt, Senior Vice President and CIO at Alleghany Insurance Group: “There were a number of big factors that led us to choose iland, including its ease of setup, competitive pricing, and reputation as an industry leader. iland allowed us to greatly simplify our DR strategy and save on expenses like redundant servers, fiber internet, and our secondary building. I haven’t quantified all of the savings, but it’s been significant.”
Brad Candy, Head of IT at LUSH Digital: “iland just blows everyone away. I don’t know what they do, but there’s some sort of magic going on in the background that keeps costs down and the quality up. From my point of view, iland Secure Cloud Backup met all the criteria we had in mind for an enterprise-level, scalable solution.”
Data Privacy and Security
Is there a more urgent, hot-button issue than data privacy and security?
According to the latest estimates from Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime costs are expected to grow by 15 percent year over year. By 2025, the damages could reach as high as $15 trillion annually, up from $3 trillion in 2015. That would represent the greatest transfer of economic wealth in human history — exponentially larger than costs associated with natural disasters and more profitable than the global sale of all major illegal drugs combined.
It’s no wonder why 35 percent of IT decision makers listed data privacy and security as their top cloud obstacle, or that security landed among customers’ top concerns in the latest season of the Cloudbytes Podcast, hosted by Brian Knudtson, iland Director of Cloud Market Intelligence. (Shameless plug!)
Here’s what our customers have to say about their experience handling data privacy and security in the cloud:
Sukumar Panchanathan, IT Manager at Oceanscan: “(After learning of an attack) Everyone’s initial thought is, ‘We are doomed.’ If attackers can infect organisations like the Pentagon and the CIA, then what is Oceanscan? Nothing. When disasters like this happen, it’s the responsibility of the head of IT — my responsibility — to steer us out of it. That’s what I get paid to do. It’s a lot of pressure, a lot to take on … I cannot stress this enough: We are where we are thanks to the technology and, perhaps most importantly, the people over at iland. There’s a lot that has to happen in the wake of an attack like this. It’s a tough time. But the iland support team immediately answered our call and we were in a position to recover with just the click of a button.”
Peter Kaufmann, Vice President Global IT at Bachem: “I can sleep better now. I know my data is backed up at another site and I know that in case of disaster we have somebody to turn to, who can help us bring our applications back to life according to an SLA. We did not have this before … We are convinced it’s important to have this level of safety. We have customers who are depending on a continuous supply of these APIs. We would be losing customers if we had to say, ‘Sorry we lost our data. We will be back in six months from now.’ That’s no option.”
Bill Schneller, Director of IT at Geffen Mesher: “We did a lot of due diligence — speaking with other customers and our reps at Veeam. In those conversations, iland seemed tried and true. It was a big player in the space and also offered iland Secure Cloud DRaaS as a future option, whereas other vendors did not. The tech world is huge and immensely complicated. Yet there’s this illusion that we all, somehow or another, understand every part of it. But we don’t. We wanted to leverage the expertise of a vendor like iland that has specialized in this space and know what it’s doing … iland delivers everything it promises — there’s really nothing better I can say. We’ve been very, very happy with the results. I sleep better at night knowing that if we ever get hit with ransomware, we’ve got the right offsite backup solution in place.”
Lack of In-House Expertise
Our society’s transition to remote work is a genie that simply won’t be going back into its bottle.
While this may be more convenient for the average worker, for IT professionals, it means contending with increased workloads and learning new skills on top of other industry hazards such as supply chain disruptions and the rising rate of ransomware attacks. As you can imagine, stress and burnout are rampant. According to a Forrester survey, 65 percent of cybersecurity professionals say they have “considered leaving their job because of stress.”
Unfortunately, such factors have conspired to create a massive shortage in cyber skills. In the United States alone, there are currently 714,548 cybersecurity job openings and only enough qualified workers to fill approximately 68 percent of them, according to Cyber Seek data.
With high demand and low supply and retention, organizations are struggling with many turning to cloud providers to fill the gap. According to Foundry, 34 percent of IT decision makers cited “a lack of cloud security expertise” as their No. 1 challenge when implementing a cloud strategy, with 41 percent citing “security expertise” as what they needed most from their future or current providers.
Here’s what our customers have to say about their experience coping with a lack of in-house expertise in the cloud:
Lee Angell, IT Director at Trinity Fire & Security Systems: “iland allows us to focus on our business rather than on our IT infrastructure. They listened to our needs and delivered on our requirements … iland does it all and now my team can focus on managing our IT projects and simply add or reduce cloud resources as the business requires. The need for flexibility, agility, security, and scalability is satisfied with the iland Secure Cloud.”
Lawrence Bilker, CIO at Pyramid Healthcare: “Our company is in the business of behavioral health. We’re not a data center company. We’re not a telecom company. We’re not an Infrastructure as a Service provider. So, why not go get services from a company that does this for a living? …If you’re looking for a partner that can provide you with an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform that has high availability at a reasonable cost with the flexibility and ability to adapt to any of your changing business, iland is a phenomenal choice.”
Chris Oligher, IT Operations Manager at Cochrane & Company: “Managing a data center and a server infrastructure is a 24/7/365 job. Unfortunately, you only have so much available bandwidth during the day. I’m so happy iland is now handling all of that for us. From my perspective, that’s the biggest selling point—let them take care of it and then use the time and resources we’ve saved to focus on something else.”