IT’s attitude about the cloud has changed greatly in a short period of time.

I started writing about cloud computing back in 2010 when I became a Senior Industry Analyst for the Aberdeen Group in Boston. Cloud computing was just beginning and most IT professionals where leery. The thought of trusting a third party with their data was frightening. For example, when I asked a senior data base administrator of a large, Boston-based financial services company if they would ever use the cloud, he replied “We don’t let our data out of the room.”

Those fears existed for quite a while. After joining Unitrends in 2016 I conducted a survey of over 800 IT professionals about how they backup their data and use the cloud. In 2016, 52% of respondents stated that they were not using the cloud. However, by 2018 that number dropped to 38%.

Why a 24% increase in the use of cloud in just 3 years? I believe you can see the reasons for the change in the responses of those still resisting cloud computing.

In 2016 “security” was the primary cause for resistance to the cloud. The next two most common answers can also be described as security-related as “data privacy” and “loss of control” are effectively the same thing – that others will be able to access any data placed in the cloud. Cost was tied for 3rd.

In three short years attitudes to the cloud changed greatly. The number of respondents with security and data privacy concerns fell over 40 – 50% Cost concerns changed little, remained at about 18%, and is now the number one reason organizations don’t use the cloud.

Why such a big change in security concerns in only 3 years? I believe it is from things we have not seen. We have not heard of large data breaches of cloud providers where millions of records were hacked. Instead those reports have come from large end users such as Equifax, Marriott Hotels, and Target.  Cloud providers generally are large enterprises, and they know and spend far more on data security than most Fortune 500 companies. Cloud providers have a good track record and we have come to realize that our data is safer in the cloud than it is on our own premises.

I also know from experience, that some survey responses should not be taken literally. I believe there is still a small minority that feels their job is threatened by the cloud and / or don’t want to have to learn all the information required to use public clouds.  I did not offer a “My job will go away if I use the cloud” answer option, and even if I did few would select it. “Cost” was a very easy choice to make as there is always a downward pressure on IT budgets. Cloud providers could cut their costs by 50% or more and still not win this sector of the market. For these folks I counsel you need to change your perceptions.

However, for most, cost is a very real issue. While maybe less expensive than operating your own data center, public cloud costs can be highly variable, unpredictable and difficult to budget. If I asked you how many downtime events you will suffer in 2019, you cannot know for sure. Public cloud vendors change for every action in their environment including multiple classes of compute charges, storage fees, data movement charges and costs even to recover data back to your premises. Those using public clouds for DRaaS know this quite well.

Unitrends offers full, service-oriented DRaaS that is easy to budget.  Take a look at our Cloud Cost Calculator and see for yourself how affordable and reliable are our cloud-based DRaaS costs. There are never any upcharges no matter how many DRaaS events you encounter or much data you move.

Attitudes 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.

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Dick Csaplar
About Dick Csaplar

Dick Csaplar is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with Unitrends. Prior to working for Unitrends Dick was an Industry Analyst for Aberdeen, focused on all things Data Center. Dick has over 25 years of experience in IT with extensive work in Asia and Latin America having lived in, worked or traveled through over 70 countries in the world.