Why a No-Cloud Policy Will Become Extinct

February 02, 2016

Contributor: Jo Bennett

Gartner predicts an end to banning cloud applications from the workplace. Here's why.

Think about all the things that businesses don’t do anymore thanks to advances in technology. When did your payroll department last mail you a paycheck? When did you last call directory assistance for a phone number?

“In the not-too-distant future, banning cloud applications from the workplace will join the list of quaint throwback practices,” said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow. He and other Gartner analysts who cover cloud computing predict that, “By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-Internet’ policy is today.”

Some reasons for this shift:

Applications move from low-risk to mission-critical

Businesses initially stepped gingerly toward the cloud, experimenting with low-risk applications. Today, applications for office productivity and CRM are tried and tested, and use cases are constantly developing in a wider sphere of mission-critical areas.

Take GE, one of the world’s most valuable brands. At Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2015 user conference, GE announced that as part of its digital transformation, the company will move at least 60% of its IT workloads to the public cloud.

“The cloud is being increasingly relied on as a vehicle for agile, scalable and elastic solutions,” said Mr. Smith. “To build competitive advantage and cut costs, CIOs and other IT leaders need to constantly adapt their strategies to leverage cloud capabilities.”

Cloud solutions offer security

Security concerns are most frequently the reason organizations avoid public cloud services. The reality is that cloud service providers typically have the ability to support more effective security systems and platforms than are practical for most individual businesses.

Secure and successful cloud implementations rely on organizations having the proper policies and processes in place. Guidelines CIOs should follow include:

  • Develop and follow an enterprise strategy that includes guidance on security and regulatory compliance.
  • Document and enforce policies regarding who owns cloud applications and the risk that they are willing to accept.
  • Follow a life cycle governance approach to the use of all cloud services and the processes performed within them.
  • Develop in-house expertise on the security and control of each of the cloud models that you plan to use.

“Failure to put the people and processes in place to consistently leverage the security advantages of cloud computing can easily create workloads that are less secure than those created by traditional computing practices,” cautioned Mr. Smith.

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