Things change. This is especially true of the field of information technology. There are things that computers and communications systems can do now that would have been unthinkable just a couple of generations ago.
Every year, changes in technology seem to come faster and faster. But, how has the cloud changed in the last year or so? What new developments have there been with cloud technology, cloud companies, and cloud security?
Big Box Clouds Are Bigger Than Ever
The big box clouds such as AWS, MS Azure, and Rackspace are getting bigger with every passing year, snapping up infrastructure in mergers and takeovers of smaller cloud companies.
Yet, while the biggest clouds keep getting bigger, their service model remains largely the same—a “buy and drive” approach where the cloud provided is barebones in nature to cut costs, and the support features are charged separately to nickel-and-dime cloud users.
So, the more things change, the more they stay the same with the biggest cloud companies.
The Perception of Cloud Security is Shifting
For the longest time, the predominant myth was that a cloud-based infrastructure was automatically less secure than an on-premises one. In fact, this notion even made Gartner’s list of the Top 10 Cloud Myths, and they debunked it there saying that: “to date, there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud – most breaches continue to involve on-premises data center environments.”
Improvements in the technology used to secure cloud environments, such as improved firewalls, antivirus, and intrusion detection/logging have all helped to greatly increase security for public clouds.
Most on-premises infrastructure cannot match the level of security found on a public cloud infrastructure. Part of the reason for this is that cloud providers can more easily justify the cost of investing in stronger security. Getting the same level of protection on an in-house infrastructure would be prohibitively costly to acquire, install, and manage.
The strength of cloud security compared to on-premises infrastructure has been proven through the reduced number of breach incidents on the cloud cited by experts such as Gartner.
Big Box Clouds Are Starting to Back Off of Offering Public Cloud Services
Some of the bigger commodity cloud providers are starting to shift emphasis away from offering public clouds and focus on private and hybrid clouds to their customers.
For example, a March 2016 report by siliconangle.com highlights that Rackspace is moving “employees to work in areas like engineering private and hybrid clouds” away from their public cloud departments after it “struggled in a public cloud market that has be ruthlessly unkind to companies trying to dislodge AWS and Azure.”
Aside from the intensity of the competition between the big box cloud providers, another reason that some of the larger players might be backing off of their public cloud focus is concerns about meeting compliance standards on those clouds. Many of the security features that are needed to protect information on the cloud are considered an add-on service for big box clouds, which can be a sticking point for enterprise-grade customers.
Premium Cloud Companies Are Becoming More Capable and Competitive, Showing Rapid Growth in the Marketplace
Premium cloud service providers such as WHOA, on the other hand, are stepping up their public cloud for business. Unlike big box providers that treat security as an afterthought, WHOA builds cloud environments with security features being integrated from the ground up. Many of WHOA’s secure cloud services are included in the basic package.
Combined with WHOA’s use of Tier IV data centers, meeting compliance requirements for standards such as ISO 27001 is made incredibly simple. Meeting such standards with an on-premises infrastructure would be incredibly costly and difficult for any one organization.
The specialist capabilities of premium cloud companies are gaining popularity, fueling their growth in the market. According to a “State of the Cloud” report by Bessemer Venture Partners, there are now “42 public ‘pure play’ cloud companies, 28 private cloud unicorns, and thousands of private cloud companies” in the market today. The number of cloud companies is expected to grow as the need for specific, niche services rises as well.
Overall, the cloud is bigger, stronger, and more capable than ever, and all indications point towards it continuing to become stronger over time. However, it’s still important to find the right cloud services provider if you want to get the best results for your business.
For more ways the cloud can help your business get the results you're looking for, read our Ebook: How SMBs Can Leverage Enterprise Technology and Service Using Secure Cloud Solutions.