What next in 2016 for the ‘Cloud First’ enterprise?

Phil Muncaster

Thursday 3 December 2015

With 2016 just around the corner, we take a look at where CIOs looking to push ahead with cloud computing projects need to focus their priorities

Cloud computing has the power to change the way we do business forever. All over the EMEA region, IT leaders are planning transformative projects to embrace this new computing paradigm. The technology is now mature enough that the market is filled with competent providers who are differentiating on quality and price. But once you’ve decided on a ‘cloud first’ strategy, what next?

Well, when we talk about the cloud, the issue of security is never far from the discussion. Often it revolves around potential problems at the provider’s end, such as access controls, compliance issues and the side effects of the multi-tenancy environment. At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo recently the market analyst released its top predictions for IT organisations and their users for 2016 and beyond. It claimed that, up until 2020, a staggering 95 per cent of cloud security failures will actually be the customer’s fault, rather than that of the provider.

On the one hand, this is actually good news since it indicates that cloud providers have matured to the point that their services are unlikely to contain vulnerabilities which could lead to serious security incidents. But it also means IT managers must think carefully about their cloud responsibilities from a security and compliance perspective. This situation is already driving investment in so-called ‘cloud access security broker’ (CASB) services to monitor and manage public clouds. In fact, by 2018, 50 per cent of enterprises with more than 1,000 users will use such a service, according to Gartner.

With this in mind, CASB specialist Bitglass interviewed CIOs and IT leaders at the same analyst event to extrapolate some key cloud and mobile predictions for the year ahead. It seems like those tasked with implementing cloud projects are keen to focus on security and manageability, finding the right provider for their needs and getting value for money.

Top Five Cloud Predictions

1) Cloud Access Security Brokers will become increasingly important, with 55 per cent of respondents planning to deploy one in the future. A CASB can help IT buyers improve security and visibility by augmenting public cloud providers’ services.

2) Cost savings will begin to have a real impact on customers. In fact, half of respondents said they had already seen savings in 2015.

3) Spending is set to rise on cloud security in 2016. In fact, a third of CIOs said it would do so by more than 20 per cent.

4) Controlling downloads to unmanaged devices will be a major concern, as the effect of cloud plus BYOD begins to become apparent.

5) Evaluating the best cloud provider will be a major challenge in 2016, with IT buyers forced to choose from an ever larger array of providers.

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