By 2025, more than three quarters of all IT infrastructure will reside in the public cloud, a report from networking company Barracuda finds.

As of early 2020, a mere 45% of IT infrastructure is public cloud-based, which means the next five years are going to be huge for cloud migrations from on-site servers–and potentially the private cloud as well.

The reasons for moving to the public cloud are numerous. Some of the most frequently cited by respondents included reducing IT expenditure, improved scalability, greater agility, and less time spent on maintenance.

Rapid migration to the public cloud may not continue, however, if IT professionals’ biggest cloud concern isn’t addressed: Security, which 70% cited as a reason their organization hasn’t already adopted public cloud.

Any data living in a publicly accessible server is at risk from a number of threats: Direct attacks, vendor security breaches, and web app vulnerabilities are all risks when using Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or similar services.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic Premium)

Along with security, network integration was also mentioned as a frequent concern. Public cloud platforms not integrating well with legacy technology, users being forced to make multiple logins to accomplish one task, and similar concerns are also mentioned as factors.

That doesn’t mean the public cloud can’t work for you. The reasons for adopting it are numerous, and reasons not to adopt have solutions.

How to make the public cloud work for your organization

When it comes to making the public cloud safe and practical for organizations to use, Barracuda found that one refrain was common among IT pros: Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).

Only 23% of respondents actually had a current SD-WAN deployment–but a full 51% said they plan to add one within the next 12 months. “Respondents are looking to SD-WAN solutions to resolve not only network issues but also security concerns, as SD-WAN is being used by more than half of those who have added security to their public cloud,” the report said.

In other words, businesses who want to migrate to a public cloud–and be secure in doing so–have to plan for third-party security since public cloud providers don’t generally provide enough.

“Security vendors that can offer a complete package of cloud-generation firewalls, web application firewalls, SD-WAN deployments, and automated security policy compliance will find themselves in strong demand.”

Image: Jirsak, Getty Images/iStockphoto