Every year Unitrends surveys IT professionals about the challenges they face in protecting their data and business-critical applications. Unitrends 2018 annual survey culminated with over 800 respondents from companies of all sizes. IT professionals were asked about how they protected their data and their attitudes about the cloud.
Survey responses showed that cloud adoption varies greatly by industry. In 2018 it is not a surprise that technology companies lead cloud adoption. What was most surprising was the adoption rate differences between the Medical (64%) and Finance / Legal industries (lowest at 49%). Both are highly regulated industries requiring strict IT security and privacy controls. You would think adoption rates between these two industries would be more similar.
One possible reason for the difference: The medical industry had to respond to new computing mandates from the government. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law in 2009. Most of the provisions of the HITECH Act became enforceable in 2010, about the same time the cloud was beginning to emerge. HIPAA and HITECH demands caused Healthcare IT to have to look at new computing solutions.
Finance has long established players with large investments in traditional computing architectures. However there are signs that things there may be changing as well. Cloud vendors have matured considerably, establishing better security, privacy, and compliance controls. IT workers are more experienced in dealing with the cloud and better understand how to get the most of its unique offering. Finally business managers are becoming more comfortable with the concept, shifting away from seeing the cloud as a “black box” that increases the likelihood of data exposure.
We see these changing attitudes in the survey responses of non-cloud users. In 2016 the dominant reason for not using the cloud was operational – security, privacy, loss of control. In 2018 the dominant reason for not using the cloud is cost.
It is time that the finance industry take a cue from their brothers and sisters in the medical profession. The cloud is not a threat to data integrity, but can offer financial and operational advantages over traditional computing architectures. The cloud may even be superior in data protection and recovery as getting data off-site is critical to preventing ransomware, and speeding recoveries from local floods, fires, or electrical issues.
Doctors may have been forced to become more computer savvy. The finance industry can benefit from their learning curves.
Attitudes to the cloud have changed. So if you are new to cloud computing and need to protect your cloud assets read my report on The 4 Best Practices for Protecting a Multicloud Environment. And if you are one of the organizations still not using cloud because of cost concerns you need to consider Unitrends DRaaS. At Unitrends we have harnessed the cloud as the ideal place to host Disaster Recovery as a Service without either security or major cost concerns.