What’s ahead for security and cloud adoption?

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2017 is believed to mark a major turning point in cloud adoption, bringing a rapid acceleration even among those companies and industries that have been reluctant to adopt the cloud in the past due to data security and privacy concerns.

Marking a major shift from just two years ago, numerous CEOs and CIOs of global 1000 companies across all industries plan to be 80 percent in the cloud by 2020. Key drivers of this trend include the sheer volume of data entering organizations, the agility that the cloud promises, along with a growing understanding of the security foundation in the cloud.

But what about the impact of regulatory compliance?

In the banking industry, strict regulatory requirements, along with an increase in security breaches, resulted in a massive slow-down in moving compliance-related workloads to the cloud in the past. This was compounded by a shortage of in-house security skill sets and inadequate vendor technology.

In the near term, we will likely continue to see a reluctance to adopt cloud for compliance-related workloads, even though the enterprise is warming to public cloud services in general. However, vendors are starting to work closely with heavily regulated industries, such as banking and healthcare, to develop solutions that transcend barriers, enabling them to adopt cloud solutions and protect their data at the same time.

Strong factors driving interest in cloud include:

  • The explosion of data available now and expected in the future, especially with the growth of the Internet of Things.
  • A growing interest in data analytics. IDC predicts that the big data and business analytics market will grow from $130 billion at the end of 2016 to $203 billion by 2020. Banking is predicted to be a big driver in this increase in spending. Healthcare will also contribute; according to Markets and Markets, the healthcare analytics market is expected to grow to 24.5b by 2021, at a CAGR of 27%. Cloud technologies are an important foundation for this market.
  • Today’s businesses demand data liquidity and agile, adaptive business processes and innovation.

In the short run, compliance will still be an issue.

Regulations continue to be added, making it difficult for cloud users to keep their cloud operations compliant. In Europe, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), signed in April, is said by IDC to be a “game-changer” with respect to data protection, and will “consume considerable time, effort and investment over the next two years.”

Vendors are starting to respond and develop solutions that help organizations with compliance and security challenges. According to Ramon Chen, CMO of data management firm Reltio, many vendors are taking steps to provide the most secure, validated and agile infrastructure possible.

Over the next 2-3 years, we expect to start seeing collaboration between regulatory bodies and industry and technology providers that will help define and develop mutually agreeable standards around security. New technologies with “smart” and live compliance features will emerge, such as predictive and proactive threat intelligence, risk-based security, crypto currencies like Bitcoin using blockchain technology and software-defined security measures.

Rebecca Poe has 10-plus years of experience in strategic business planning including account planning, consulting and business development.



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