Dispelling five common myths about cloud adoption in Ireland

  • Posted on April 19, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 6 minutes
5 Common Myths about Cloud Adoption

Cloud platforms and technologies offer cost and efficiency benefits to organizations in every industry, but there are several common misconceptions that persist in overshadowing organizations’ cloud ambitions. Which of these myths are holding you back from making the move to cloud?

According to a new Accenture report, Irish organizations are outpacing peers in cloud adoption. The report reveals that 88% of Irish companies are choosing to move to the cloud, compared to 71% globally. However, only 36% of Irish respondents surveyed said that their business workloads are currently in the cloud and two-thirds predicted that workloads would move to the cloud in the next five years.

For the most part this delay in cloud adoption doesn’t stem from lack of need or desire. Conversations with our customers and prospects reveal a common set of misconceptions surrounding public cloud that are impacting progress and adoption. It’s time to examine and dispel those myths.

“90% of executives agree that to be agile and resilient, their organizations need to fast forward their digital transformation with cloud at its core.” Technology Vision, Accenture 2021

For a long time, public cloud was considered less secure than private cloud and understandably, many Irish organizations worry about lost or compromised data. The ransomware cyberattack which targeted Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) in May 2021 rocked the country. It caused the HSE’s nationwide IT systems to be shut down and was the most significant cybercrime attack on an Irish state agency and the largest known attack to date against a global health service computer system.

The average cost of a data breach in 2021 rose to $4.24 million. Notably, costs were significantly lower for organizations with a more mature security posture and higher for organizations that lagged in areas such as security AI and automation, zero trust and cloud security.

Over the last 12 months the security landscape has matured considerably with cloud service providers (CSPs) making significant investments in their security capabilities. They have developed an array of automated security tools and offerings in terms of manageability and control that are practically impossible to replicate. That makes cloud the most secure option available.

Gartner predicts that through 2025, 99% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault, not the CDP’s. The issue lies with organizations that continue to put themselves at risk by not including security in the design from the beginning.

Avanade has multiple offerings within our Security team in both Advisory and Delivery functions. We can help you define a robust cloud security strategy that incorporates data lifecycle management, ownership, data discovery, encryption, classification and labelling - to ensure a robust security posture in the cloud.

Data compliance and classification
A key concern for many Irish organizations is managing data residency. Many enterprises want their data to remain in Ireland – to avoid falling foul of regulations relating to where data can be stored and how it can be transferred – such as GDPR and ISO27001, and to meet strict audit criteria.

Understandably customers want to know how CSPs, such as Microsoft Azure, will manage where their data resides, how it is processed and protected and who has access to it. Many are surprised to learn that Ireland is Europe’s data center capital, with Microsoft, Amazon and Google all operating large sites within the country. There are currently around 70 operational data centers in the country with a combined 900MW power capacity – and another eight under construction. Microsoft’s main site, Dublin Grange Castle, was Microsoft’s first data center outside of the United States.

Microsoft has also invested heavily to help its public cloud customers meet IT audits – providing policy templates that allow organizations to classify their data and ensure regulations are being adhered to.

Understanding its true potential
The features and opportunities that the cloud presents can be quite daunting. Looking at the cloud as a one-time migration to a static destination is not only incredibly overwhelming, but very limiting. Start small and don’t try to leverage or consume the cloud in its entirety. Take a step-by-step approach and view it as a long-term, ever evolving process.

If you’re not faced with the pressure of an urgent event, the first step is to focus on a use case or requirement, such as moving email or back-up, or utilizing cognitive services or AI. This incremental and agile approach doesn’t mean the pace of cloud transformation has to be slow. It just means moving at a measured pace that’s right for your business – where lessons can be learned and benefits realized after each iteration.

Lack of in-house skills
With organizations under increasing pressure to adopt cloud technologies to counterbalance the impediments caused by the pandemic, there is a growing deficit in cloud skills and knowledge – including cloud security, cloud migration and deployment, databases, networking, monitoring, machine learning and AI.

Lack of relevant in-house skills and knowledge is slowing down many cloud projects. Businesses looking to transition to the cloud must identify needs for additional expert support. By partnering with an organizations such as Avanade, that specialize in designing, deploying and managing cloud ecosystems (in our case, Microsoft Azure), not only can you take advantage of the speed, scale and economies of the Microsoft Cloud, but we’ll help you avoid the common pitfalls.

We can also make sure your IT teams are fully trained and accredited to generate maximum value from your ongoing cloud transformation. There’s an extensive range of accredited courses for everyone from newcomers to seasoned cloud pros, covering a huge range of Azure topics from introductory and certification courses to deep dives into the most advanced new features.

The economies of the cloud used to be one of the most contentious issues surrounding cloud adoption. The shift towards consumption-based pricing models and the concern over a potential bill shock has historically been a major blocker.

Historically IT departments have had to hold real estate to house hardware environments and spend millions of euros on sweating hardware assets. The switch to only paying monthly on a per element basis with the flexibility to scale up, down and out as required, comes with powerfully persuasive cost benefits.

Most organizations are spending more than they need. According to Gartner, 45% of organizations that perform a lift and shift to the cloud without optimization will overspend by 70% during the first 18 months. With a rapid assessment and initial focus on quick wins, organizations can see savings within two to four weeks.

The world has changed. There has never been a better time to rethink how the cloud can help you address your changing priorities. You may already be in the cloud, using Office 365, but we can help you rethink and renew your approach to the cloud, enabling agility and resilient growth.

Our unparalleled understanding of the Microsoft ecosystem, privileged access and unrivalled expertise ensure our clients maximize business value from Azure cloud and their data, with a flexible approach for every client.

Contact us to find out more about how you can rethink to renew your approach to cloud.

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