How to unleash the potential of the public cloud

How to unleash the potential of the public cloud
Firms are looking to third-party vendors to leverage the cloud and mitigate risks, finds Barracuda

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Recent Forrester Research findings predict that public cloud solutions will grow to a staggering $299.4 billion in 2020. But how can organisations capitalise on this market without making themselves vulnerable to potential security threats?

To find out, Barracuda and market research firm Vanson Bourne interviewed EMEA IT decision makers with responsibility for, or knowledge of, their organisation’s cloud infrastructure. 

Our research showed that public cloud has become a key initiative for organisations, with 76 per cent of IT infrastructure expected to run on the cloud in five years, compared to 45 per cent today. Alongside this, there are escalating cyber threats. Three quarters of the respondents reported that their organisation has been hit at least once, compared with 56 per cent in 2017. 

According to the research, seamless integration is also inhibiting cloud adoption. EMEA businesses reported that they are concerned with integrating public cloud with legacy technologies (25 per cent), private cloud (38 per cent) and on-premises infrastructure (36 per cent). 

Secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) fully integrated into the public cloud is the solution of choice here, offering organisations the ability to manage security policies and bandwidth at the push of a button from a centralised location. Just under half (43 per cent) of EMEA organisations claimed to have already deployed this or said that they are in the process of doing so. 

It’s clear that businesses in EMEA realise that cloud provider native security solutions may not provide sufficient capabilities. When asked, 94 per cent of EMEA respondents said they are looking to third-party providers to help them overcome adoption barriers.

Once EMEA organisations remove the traditional blockers to public cloud adoption, progress will be swift and transformational. Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of respondents said that they would move more applications to the cloud, while 47 per cent would plan to build more applications in the cloud. The benefits are clear; respondents cited reduced IT expenditure (42 per cent), greater scalability (42 per cent), greater agility (39 per cent) and more time for staff to focus on higher value tasks (33 per cent). 

Public cloud deployments are a key part of most EMEA organisation’s IT strategies and will become even more central to future success. As more IT infrastructure moves to public cloud, cloud providers will offer more native network capabilities, and public cloud will expand to include more network functionality. The vast majority of EMEA organisations need their security vendors to offer advanced security and cloud connectivity tightly integrated with the major cloud platforms.

Organisations that are able to find a trusted security partner to help them overcome their barriers to cloud adoption and help to deliver on the potential of public cloud will be ideally placed for business growth and digital transformation success. 

Chris Hill is the regional vice president of public cloud at Barracuda Networks

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