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The global cloud migration continues to fuel a market expected to hit the $1 trillion milestone in 2028. According to Facts and Factors, the cloud will grow from $429.6 billion in 2021 to $1.0257 trillion in 2028. However, a recent report of Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Quali, found that 63% of surveyed IT and decision-makers say their organizations lack the support for a variety of cloud resources.

While the cloud offers scalability, growth, availability, reduced costs and faster implementation times, it also presents challenges that are often underestimated or poorly understood.

Companies continue to pour into the cloud to host their business online for several reasons. As the era of data proliferation settles, omnichannel strategies flourish, and new apps are developed to deliver enhanced customer experience, organizations prefer cloud infrastructures due to capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX).

Disrupting technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and app development tools are another reason why companies switch to the cloud. Unfortunately, cloud security and computing resources are often taken for granted.

Cloud success leads to growth but also to challenges

Not everything is bad news for those leveraging the power of the cloud. The Forrester Consulting report of Quali, titled; “Scale and Innovate with Infrastructure Automation,” revealed that 57 percent of leaders surveyed say their organizations met or exceeded their outcome expectations. This growth has driven companies to continue to invest in cloud technologies. But in this expansion plan, organizations find their top priorities hard to meet.

“Current infrastructure capabilities prohibit organizations from moving as quickly as decision-makers would like to because they don’t have the right resources, support, or insights in place,” the report says.

Organizations that operate in multicloud or hybrid cloud environments are the most affected. Governance roadblocks are slowing down companies and preventing them from rapidly scaling.

Furthermore, organizations are already experiencing the consequences of these cloud challenges. More than half (58%) of those surveyed say their firm experienced greater risk, 52% say they incurred in expenses and “unnecessary costs,” and 51% say the problems limit their capacity to innovate.

The cloud is presented as the ultimate infrastructure solution to store data and systems and manage it through dashboards and visualizations, but 60% of IT leaders complained about insufficient reporting, dashboarding and analytics. More than half of those surveyed say they need more support for provisioning approaches and complain about the lack of support for hybrid models.

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The challenges of cloud security

Data loss, compliance, cyberattacks and ransomware in the cloud are becoming increasingly common. IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach 2021” report studied 537 breaches in 17 countries and discovered some concerning cloud security costs.

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach for businesses that underwent a “very significant digital transformation” during the pandemic was $4.26 million. Organizations in a mature stage of cloud modernization lost, on average, 252 days in identifying and containing a data breach.

IBM’s security report calculated that a public cloud breach costs on average $4.8 million. When it comes to private cloud breaches IBM set the cost at $4.55 million, and for hybrid cloud breaches, the cost is $3.61 million. And breaches in the cloud continue to rise at alarming rates.

Adservio explains that cloud misconfigurations are one of the leading causes of attacks. Cloud environments added to increased endpoints also create a more extensive “digital surface.” Cybercriminals will use phishing, account hacking, malware and DDoS attacks to find the weakest point of entry.

Additionally, organizations that depend on their cloud environments to operate may be hindered from running their business if their cloud systems are compromised. Ransomware attacks often cause organizations to shut down operations.

Cloud complexity and new technology can also generate human errors and security misconfigurations. Finally, compliance, loss of visibility, data and workloads in cloud environments are also challenging.

SEE: iCloud vs. OneDrive: Which is best for Mac, iPad and iPhone users? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What do organizations look for in the cloud?

According to Forrester Consulting, leaders´ top cloud priorities are customers, performance and speed. The cloud is the perfect place to shape, create and deliver multichannel marketing brand experiences for new or existing customers. This trend is transforming all industries, from retail to automotive.

The Forrester report for Quali revealed that organizations are looking into the cloud to execute these customer experience strategies. They specifically want to increase cloud applications that serve their customers and generate more revenue.

Organizations have also learned the hard lessons of global disruptions during the pandemic, the Russian and Ukraine war, the freight and logistic crisis, the gas inflation crisis and regional international tensions. Supply chain disruptions have taken a toll on almost every sector, from essential products to superconductors and chips.

The cloud presented companies with modern and capable solutions to better manage supply chains, providers and distribution. Cloud data analysis can keep demand and stock in check and cloud tools like AI or digital twins can predict disruptions and identify opportunities for a supply chain to be optimized in face of disruptions.

Business leaders surveyed by Forrester Consulting for Quali agreed that “improving resilience to deliver their products and services without interruption consistently” was a top priority.

Scaling and governance are also top cloud priorities. In terms of business value, 58% of those surveyed say they want faster infrastructure, and 59% want faster automation of hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Business leaders are eager to continue developing their business and infrastructure in the cloud. They believe that the cloud, with all its automation and benefits, will improve efficiency and productivity and offer better time-to-market delivery. However, the initial excitement over disruptive cloud technologies has settled.

Organizations and companies are beginning to awaken to a new cloud reality. They are now focusing their efforts not just on migrating, operating and scaling in the cloud, but on tracking results, detecting lack of resources and vulnerabilities and strengthening their operations.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays