As the cloud rises, many have been quick to announce the demise of on-premises applications. Almost any internet search will tell you that the cloud is both the present and the future for IT. But could the future of cloud be cloudy?
Despite the hype, cloud risks are still rife. And although headlines would declare otherwise, there remains strong demand for on-premises software. We explore the cloud computing statistics that aren’t so commonly shared…
The high cost of cloud
Cloud is often hailed as the most cost-effective hosting model. That’s not necessarily true.
• 31% of IT departments say they have hit roadblocks in terms of cloud efforts delivering business value, and 6% report no or very little value.
In fact, the cost of cloud problems is sky-high.
• The cost of a data centre outage is $740,357.
• Businesses are losing $700 billion a year to IT downtime.
It’s no wonder, then, that there is consumer dissatisfaction with cloud services.
• 48% of IT decision makers think that enterprise cloud applications and services are too expensive.
• 33% of organisations have experienced high costs and poor value with cloud services.
Clearly, cloud migration doesn’t always mean hard cost savings. Cloud can be a value-added service for many companies – that much is undeniable. However, the claims that cloud is always the cheapest choice are pie in the sky.
By now, you’ll have heard all about the performance power of the cloud. Take those declarations with just a pinch of salt.
• 50% of UK companies experience digital performance issues on at least a weekly basis, if not more often.
• On average, businesses experience 5 downtime events per month, and 27 hours of downtime per month.
• 22% of organisations experienced poor availability and uptime with cloud services.
Behind these cloud computing statistics are some worrying vulnerabilities.
• 22% of organisations experienced data loss or breaches with cloud services.
• 26% of IT departments said that they had experienced a data breach incident where their cloud service provider was the party at fault.
• 20% of enterprises report unauthorised access to their data or services.
• 26% of companies using cloud services are concerned with provider-introduced vulnerabilities resulting in a breach or incident.
• There is a 52% likelihood of getting a malware infection from a cloud app.
Even worse, cloud customers are often in the dark when it comes to these vulnerabilities.
• 33% of companies do not currently have enough visibility into their public cloud providers’ operations.
• 58% of companies say a lack of visibility into their cloud provider’s operations and controls is the biggest problem with the vendor.
• Only 24% of organisations are able to perform penetration testing of their cloud assets with no restrictions.
• 65% of IT professionals think that a lack of visibility is impairing their ability to keep the cloud secure.
The notion that the cloud is the holy grail for hosting is overblown. With the right provider, and under the right circumstances, cloud can be highly performant. But don’t be misled: there is still a long way to go before it is perfect – or even promising – for all.
Beware cloud security risks
The cloud is now home to an immeasurable quantity of data. And much of that data is sensitive.
• 74% of organisations store some or all of their sensitive data in public clouds.
Despite the personal nature of this data, confusion and mistrust abound.
• Just 13% of organisations completely trust public cloud providers to secure sensitive data.
• 13% of organisations said they don’t know whether they have sensitive data in the cloud.
Indeed, considering the claims that cloud is the most secure hosting option, consumer doubt is worryingly prevalent.
• 76% of IT decision makers say security is their main concern about using cloud-based services.
• 49% of IT decision makers admit they are “very or extremely anxious” about the security implications of cloud services.
• 54% of IT decision makers say trusting a third party is a concern.
• 41% of IT decision makers have the impression that all cloud services are inherently insecure.
• 38% of companies are concerned about potential misuse of cloud resources.
• 29% of IT professionals distrust public clouds.
As well as this mistrust, there is also misunderstanding and misuse to contend with.
• Only 34% of IT professionals believe C-level executives and senior management fully understand security risks of the cloud.
• 43% of organisations do not use encryption or anti-malware in their private cloud servers.
• 40% of organisations fail to protect files located on SaaS with encryption or data loss prevention.
As the cloud computing statistics show: the cloud is not the security be-all and end-all it has been painted. Although it can be a safe option given the right conditions, to ignore the risk is to have your head in the clouds.
These performance and security issues can cause a compliance headache.
• 72% of companies point to compliance as the biggest concern with cloud adoption.
• 2% of companies said that concern about complying with regulatory requirements was a barrier to cloud adoption.
Businesses are right to be worried. With GDPR pushing compliance into the boardroom, awareness of risks and penalties has never been higher.
• Punitive damages for non-compliance will be as high a €20m (or 4% of global turnover, whichever is greater).
• ICO fines could soon increase by a staggering 4500%.
And for many organisations, the cloud is seen as a direct compliance danger.
• 8% of companies say the ability to enforce corporate security policies is a barrier to cloud adoption.
• 37% of companies say a top overall cloud concern is a lack of consistent security controls that integrate with on-premises tools and security management.
• For organisations using private cloud services, 33% rated geographic location of their data as a key concern.
• 40% of companies saying they are concerned with unauthorised access to data by other tenants.
Cloud compliance is definitely achievable. That doesn’t mean it’s the easy breeze many businesses imagine. With more at stake than ever before, companies must find a third party they can trust implicitly if they are to host their data in the cloud.
All this considered, it should come as no surprise that cloud adoption is not for everyone.
• Only 10% of UK businesses have moved completely to the cloud.
And for thousands of organisations, this is not set to change any time soon.
• 21% of technology professionals say they have no plans to move to the cloud.
• 70% of IT departments say that cloud computing is not changing their approach to outsourcing.
• Even by 2020, more than 50percent of spending on IT infrastructure will remain on traditional data centres.
Nor is on-premise software the dodo it has been depicted.
• 35% of IT leaders think cloud is less secure than on-premises software.
• 10% of IT departments say the single most important technology project they are working on is on-premises software.
• 64% of IT buyers do not have a deployment preference between cloud and on-premises.
Yes, the cloud is growing. But its growth is highly nuanced, and less than leading providers would have you believe. Beneath those flashy headline cloud computing statistics is fog.
Nobody can deny the innovation, utility, and benefits of the cloud. However, it’s a bad idea to rush to decisions that aren’t necessarily right for your business.
Cloud providers have a vested interest in ramping up hype around their services. Much of that hype will be deserved, but not everyone is a cloud convert just yet – and many never will be.
On-premises will be around for the foreseeable future. Cloud may continue to rise, but it will do so as part of a mix of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud deployments: not as a towering storm cloud that swallows all else.