IT spending on cloud technologies, including public cloud providers, is expected to rise from 12 per cent in 2017 to 18 per cent within the next two years, according our Truth in Cloud study. This trend is likely to continue and increase as more organisations plan to increase workloads they have across multiple cloud platforms. With a growing number of apps and services available, and the benefits cloud offers, it is easy to see why cloud adoption is on the rise.
In fact, our research also reveals that 56 per cent of organisations now operate with a cloud-first mentality. Further, business leaders are realising the potential of using multiple cloud platforms: more than half of businesses (58 per cent) that currently use one cloud provider plan to expand their portfolio across multiple platforms.
Multi-cloud solutions offer an agile and cost-effective way for businesses to improve resilience, data security and workload management. But organisations must pay close attention to selecting cloud service providers (CSPs) that are right for their business and their specific IT requirements.
Many organisations have moved passed thinking about cloud solely from a cost perspective. Rather, the areas that are of most importance to organisations when it comes to selecting a CSP include data privacy, security and compliance (60 per cent), workload performance (49 per cent) and workload resilience or uptime (43 per cent).
It’s encouraging to see organisations embracing a multi-cloud approach as they strive to achieve digital transformation. But, as they increasingly span their data across multiple clouds to advance their cloud journey, it is critical that enterprises understand exactly who has the responsibility for their data in the cloud.
Worryingly, many organisations believe they can fully offload data management responsibilities to their cloud service provider, leaving themselves exposed across multiple areas. In fact, the majority (83 per cent) of businesses believe that their CSPs take care of data protection in the cloud, while 69 per cent wrongly export full responsibility for data privacy and compliance regulations to their cloud providers.
Yet cloud service provider contracts usually place data management responsibility onto the business. Businesses are so misguided in their approach to data in the cloud that 75 per cent are willing to leave their cloud provider for data privacy non-compliance.
With the recent introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses can’t afford to mishandle their data as they will be the ones who face the repercussions, regardless of whether their data is stored on their own private servers or hosted on a third-party cloud platform.
Failure to comply with data protection regulations can have a direct impact on the business revenue, drop in share prices, and loss of customer confidence, loyalty and brand reputation.
Businesses must ensure they are fully versed with regards to cloud service provider contracts and understand that ultimately, the responsibility lies with them to ensure that they are compliant with data governance regulations.
The future’s bright
Despite the challenges that a multi-cloud approach can bring, the opportunities it can provide are far greater.
The information a company holds is its most valuable asset, and businesses must have full visibility into their data and be accountable for it, regardless of where it’s located. Not only will this will help avoid the risks of non-compliance, but it can also help glean better insights from their data to improve customer experiences, manage costs, improve research and development, and build brand loyalty.
As more companies embrace a cloud-first mentality, the need to navigate the complexities of a multi-cloud world is critical. As with on premise environments, companies should consider all aspects of data management as they journey to the cloud, from data protection, compliance readiness, and workload portability to business continuity and storage optimisation.
Although businesses can export their data to the cloud and reap the benefits of doing so, exporting their data management responsibilities can have huge repercussions.