With the rise in remote work and the increasing threat of ransomware, the pace of digital transformation has placed a hefty burden on IT infrastructure. 

Early this year, Foundry (formerly IDG Communications) released its 2022 Cloud Computing Survey detailing the latest cloud computing trends among technology decision-makers. The findings indicated a number of common obstacles technology decision-makers face when implementing a cloud strategy, including controlling costs, data privacy and security, and a lack of in-house expertise.

As businesses grapple with these challenges, there are three questions every cloud leader must ask when building a cloud strategy:

  • What are our cost and performance needs? 
  • What is our approach to data privacy and security?
  • How will we address the cyber skills shortage? 

Cost and Performance

The common assumption is that moving to the cloud will save a business money. When it comes to cloud services, price does not necessarily equal cost, especially when considering hyperscale clouds like Amazon, Azure, and Google. Before deploying a cloud solution, it’s important to fully understand the best combination of cost and performance for the specific business and application needs, keeping in mind that there are often transactional costs that may get overlooked until the first bill arrives.

When evaluating multiple cloud service providers, look at how each offers an economic or performance advantage, understanding and assessing all the potential costs ahead of time. Consider capabilities like real-time alerting to help control costs and make real-time adjustments to utilization. 

Data Privacy and Security

With global cybercrime costs expected to grow by 15% year-over-year, it is no surprise that 35% of IT decision-makers listed data privacy and security as their top cloud obstacle. 

While data security solutions are built into many cloud platforms, it is a shared responsibility between the cloud services provider and the customer. This can complicate the support model and lead to gaps in protection. So when evaluating a provider, what should a decision maker look for to alleviate security concerns? 

1.   How will the provider help guide and educate you throughout the process? 

2.   What does the ongoing upkeep of the security strategy look like? 

3.   What compliance needs does your organization have, and how does your provider meet those needs? 

Cyber Skills Gap

In the United States alone, there are currently over 700,000 cybersecurity job openings, with only enough qualified workers to fill less than 70% of them, according to Cyber Seek data

The Foundry study found that 41% of IT decision makers cited needing “security expertise” the most from their future or current providers, and 34% noted “a lack of cloud security expertise” as their top challenge when implementing a cloud strategy. The issue of high demand and low retention has challenged organizations to fill the skills gap, with many turning to cloud providers as a solution.

At first, the top cloud obstacle being security and the top need from cloud providers being security expertise may be contradictory. However, given how important security is at every level of the infrastructure, it makes sense that IT teams want to make sure their providers can bring a wealth of cybersecurity experience to supplement their own team’s lack of resources. It should be at the forefront of their mind that their cloud is up to the task.

For any business looking to build a cloud strategy, addressing the foundational questions around cost and performance, privacy and security, and the growing talent gap should provide a solid starting point.