4 ultra-pragmatic ways cloud in the office must evolve

If cloud computing is the future, the future is now. Although most businesses are currently using cloud in the office in some capacity, it’s not all fun and games for IT. Despite the fact that organizations are primarily using the cloud for business-critical functions, such as storage, business continuity and security, integration is challenging, especially as organizations demand flexibility in how and when they migrate their data.

As CIO’s John Brandon puts it, the cloud is mature as a technology (and dirt cheap), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for innovation and improvement. NASA is just one example of an organization that’s pushing the boundaries of the cloud as we know it (migrating their cutting-edge mission-planning tech into a hybrid implementation). For organizations that aren’t sponsoring exploratory missions to Mars, there’s still room for positive change when it comes to the cloud of the future office space. Here are some real ways cloud will need to evolve in the near future.

1. Pragmatic access governance

Access governance has never been an easy task for IT, but the cloud has made it even harder. According to SafeNet’s Challenges of Cloud Information Governance study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 55 percent of IT pros aren’t confident they’re aware of all the cloud-based applications in use at their company, and 71 percent believe that conventional security methods and policies aren’t designed to keep up with the evolving demands of cloud implementations.

Tech author and entrepreneur Leo Welder calls security “one of the biggest issues with the cloud today,” and the sheer volume of accounts managed can introduce remarkable vulnerabilities. Welder predicts that biometric verification and other centralized, high-tech methods of access governance will soon become crucial.

2. Ease-of-use

IT directors and hiring managers are painfully aware of the cloud skills gap, and for many companies, the cost of closing the gap is overwhelming. Recent studies show that for 32 percent of IT organizations, a lack of resources is the biggest challenge, surpassing even security.

Product vendors are likely to play a key role in closing the resources gap that’s plaguing organizations. By improving ease-of-use and integration capabilities, as well as providing improved training programs, platform providers have the opportunity to mitigate very real pain points among their customer bases.

3. Transparency

Despite the significant cost-savings and productivity gains offered by many public cloud providers, IT decision-makers are stressed by a lack of oversight into their vendor operations. Third-party vendors have played a crucial role in many recent, high-profile data breaches, and analysts believe they could be the number one cause of risk for certain firms.

Cloud Tech News writes that IT teams are walking a tightrope: “trying to increase speed of elastic infrastructure while maintaining security is a tough balancing act.” For organizations to move forward with cost-effective and lightning-fast cloud adoption, increased transparency from vendors is crucial.

4. Automation

A hybrid approach to public and private infrastructure is the future of cloud in the office. Unless there’s a sudden surplus of cloud talent or resources, organizations will need tools that support provisioning on-the-fly, bringing systems online, and other changes to resources.

Manual IT management isn’t feasible for most organizations—the amount of manpower it requires just doesn’t scale. With the increased productivity born from automation, cloud automation is a crucial innovation. In order for the ideal cloud of the future to become a reality, organizations must find ways to maximize efficiency and access at both the server and software layers.

While moving to the cloud is relatively easy, advancements are necessary to solve very real pain points. As we look toward the future of cloud adoption, automation, transparency, ease-of-use, and related factors will be a must.

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