How to maximize cloud efficiency, security and scalability

 An abstract image of a magnifying glass over a digital cloud.
An abstract image of a magnifying glass over a digital cloud.

Despite a turbulent world economy, the global cloud market is booming, with a nearly £500 billion market in 2022 that is estimated to grow to £1.8 trillion by 2027. The cloud is everywhere we look and migration to it and away from on-premise data centers will continue to be a prominent theme amongst businesses.

With more workloads moving to the cloud, the demand for cloud-centric talent, technology, and skills is set to surge. Unfortunately, the demand for such services is on track to outstrip the supply, and businesses are at significant risk of rushing their move to the cloud without the right talent and expertise to unlock its value.

This is a trend we continue to see time and again, and businesses are faced with significant efficiency, scalability, and security issues with their cloud environment.

Attracting the right (cloud) talent

Cloud talent is typically hoarded by the major corporations that have the budget and brand power to attract and retain leading cloud experts. Recent research affirmed this trend, highlighting that cloud infrastructure engineers have the third highest median yearly salary among those considered ‘individual contributors’, only behind reliability engineers and blockchain developers.

This leaves smaller businesses facing significant skill and talent gaps, putting their digital transformation projects at risk. To combat this challenge, they must introduce new initiatives to attract, retain, and develop cloud talent.

Executives recently highlighted that almost 95% of their IT processes prevented them being able to unleash their cloud talent. In order to position themselves as an attractive option for cloud specialists, companies must build a culture that nurtures and rewards cloud talent. This requires investing in the communities and resources that make an effective cloud strategy possible.

Even in remote and hybrid working models, connecting aspiring cloud architects and developers with online training courses and encouraging a culture of upskilling is essential to keeping a business innovative. Keeping cloud talent focused on what is important to them will help companies retain talent and remain cloud efficient.

Cyber attacks are on the rise but are we doing enough to stop them?

Following the global shift to remote and hybrid work since the start of the pandemic, there is now more data than ever stored on the cloud. Securing this data must therefore be a top priority for businesses, particularly as cybercrime continues to surge. Global cyberattacks increased by 38% from 2021 to 2022 alone, and the annual cost of cybercrime is predicted to top US $8 trillion worldwide this year.

Cloud technology provides organizations and users with a flexible and scalable way to store and access data, but not all data is created equal. In order to maximize cloud security, it is important to first consider how sensitive that data is. As data becomes more sensitive, the required security level needed to back it up will increase exponentially.

Therefore, security measures should be implemented at all levels of a cloud environment to provide the strongest level of defense.

Having a secure data backup plan is a crucial part to any cloud security strategy. In the event of mass data loss, a secure and efficient backup plan helps to ensure that data is not only fully recoverable, and not vulnerable to ransomware threats, and applications can continue running.

Whether it is a cloud backup, local backup or offline backup, organizations need to choose and prioritize a solution that fully suits their security demands, to help protect themselves and their customers.

Furthermore, upskilling staff remains a top priority when considering how to maximize cloud security. The vast majority of security breaches are due to human error, so training existing team members on how to identify, respond, and adapt to cloud attacks is critical. Be it phishing emails, malware, or DDoS attacks, employees should have comprehensive knowledge and training on how to identify one of these and act accordingly.

Finally, creating a culture of open feedback and collaboration is imperative to ensuring that errors that compromise security are flagged, discussed, and addressed immediately, as opposed to left unaddressed for fear of punishment. With this mindset, the cloud security of your business is in good hands.

Scalability or fragility?

Our team here at Stack Overflow speaks with CIOs and CTOs on a weekly basis, and one of their top priorities is cloud adoption. Any company experiencing growth will need to add to their current resources without hindering service quality or interruptions, and this is no different when it comes to the cloud.

According to McKinsey, achieving cloud scalability is dependent on three policies. The first is focusing on cloud investments in business sectors where cloud platforms can improve revenues and margins. The second is selecting a technology, sourcing, and migration model that aligns with economic and risk constraints, and the third is changing operating models to fully capture cloud value.

Implementing all three of these practices in tandem will allow your systems to meet the demands of a variable workload. Adding automation to the mix will help maximize the scalability of the cloud by manually increasing the resources with self-service tools that allow businesses to achieve scalability on demand.

However, it’s worth noting that there is no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to cloud infrastructure, and businesses must create a tailored plan to the cloud model that works best for them, be it public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. Working with external communities and third-party experts and seeking advice from mentors and peers on cloud strategies, technologies and learning lessons is essential for business leaders at the beginning of their digital transformation journey.

With cloud adoption growing at an exponential rate, companies must truly harness and manage its capabilities to effectively maximise their efficiency, security, and scalability in 2023. With retaining cloud talent and strengthening cyber security measures high on the enterprise agenda, cloud must be a top priority for businesses that want to remain agile and competitive. Attracting, retaining, and developing the right talent, and ensuring cloud infrastructure is secure and scalable are the keys to future success in enterprise.

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