Cloud adoption — stepping up from ground zero

The global transition to the cloud is in full swing, and by 2025, Gartner estimates that, globally, over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms; up from 30% in 2021.

Nearly nine in 10 organisations in Singapore use cloud-based IT solutions and the island nation’s public cloud market alone is expected to grow at 20% CAGR to US$3.6 billion by 2023. Much of the conversations surrounding cloud adoption has moved away from simple lift-and-shift migrations to more sophisticated applications of the cloud like microservices and edge computing.

With cloud adoption becoming widespread, why are there still organisations holding out? What are the true barriers of adopting it and why is the technology sector continuously harping on cloud adoption?

It’s almost 2023. Are there still barriers to cloud adoption?

Flexibility, cost efficiency, the ability to innovate, a faster go-to-market strategy, and compliance with global security standards are all advantages of moving to the cloud. And yet, some organisations still choose to stick with the technologies they know and have — citing the below barriers to have stalled their move.

  • Security concerns: Perhaps topping the list of concerns for businesses is the idea that the cloud presents security issues to firms looking to store their data. However, businesses are lulled into a false sense of security where physical data centres are concerned, and the idea of keeping their data where they can see it. In fact, organisations that rely solely on legacy systems will lose roughly US$650 billion as a result of system downtime and cybersecurity breaches by 2030. By migrating just 50% of an organisation’s estate to the cloud, system downtime can be reduced by about 57% for migrated applications, resulting in a 26% cost reduction for breaches.
  • Lack of budget and time: Along the many benefits offered by cloud technologies, cost remains as a major concern preventing organisations from migration. Keeping up with modern technology can be difficult when it comes to the budget available. Many do not have the requisite budget to fully adopt cloud transformation. The average cost of cloud migration ranges anything between US$20,000 – $500,000, and the migration of an organisation’s first workload requires at least six months. Yet, it is important to note that the cost efficiencies in the long run can far outweigh the initial costs. 
  • Legal and regulatory: Many organisations acknowledge the concern of compliance with storing data and other applications in the cloud. According to IBM’s Transformation Index: State of Cloud study, 53% of organisations found that ensuring compliance in the cloud was too difficult, and there is general uncertainty about cloud security risks and regulatory compliance standing in the way of more progress.
  • Lack of skills: Talent shortages are also a significant challenge for the successful adoption of cloud technologies. This lack of skilled workers means that many businesses are pulling back or slowing down when it comes to building and deploying cloud technology. This, in turn, hinders cloud adoption and stunts business growth. The same IBM study found that 69% of organisations lack skills to be proficient in architecting and managing cloud applications.

Taking off into the cloud

No doubt, the cloud adoption journey is a long one that requires tolerance for the complexity of the process. Here are three issues that organisations need consider which will allow them to embrace and realise the full potential of the cloud:

  1. Overcoming security concerns: With cloud computing platforms managing the security of the cloud environment, the security vulnerabilities that companies need to worry about (e.g., loss of customer data, data encryption, and authentication) come from what is being put within the cloud. Companies will only need to manage and govern their native cloud services and infrastructure security. To do this well, however, they need a cloud adoption roadmap that incorporates governance and resilience into the cloud migration strategy.
  2. Complying with regulations: Basing all cloud infrastructure decisions with compliance front-of-mind rather than an afterthought will ensure that the responsibility for data security will not be neglected. Companies and organisations need to work with partners who are able to develop a holistic strategy that considers business needs while keeping in mind local and industry regulations and guidelines.
  3. Closing the skills gap: Organisations need to do an inventory of cloud computing skills, and look at major areas that include architecture, security, and governance, just to name a few. Key strategies to overcome the skills gap lies in training and hiring. For cybersecurity to be a shared responsibility, employees need to be provided with adequate and regular anti-phishing training. A trusted technology partner will also be able to help, not only by overcoming this skills gap and jump-starting their cloud journey in the short term, but also providing the framework, knowledge, and expertise to upskill their own teams in the long term.

What’s next for organisations in Singapore?

The benefits of cloud computing hold widespread recognition and the appetite for cloud migration shows no sign of stopping. Partnering with a trusted technology partner can reduce the strain on IT staff and help businesses move forward with their cloud adoption journey. A good partner can help assist with the initial migration, configuration, and optimisation of your cloud setup, and help put in place frameworks and policies that help you govern, secure, and future-proof your cloud environment.

This will enable you to innovate and focus on what truly matters: delivering value to your customers, employees, and the community.