Growth and demand for cloud services

By Alex Holmström, Global Sales & Marketing Director, ACRE International

We’re now part of a cloud-enabled world. While information technology has moved rapidly and with a degree of unpredictability over the past year, the ability to move to a remote workforce — powered by technology — has enabled us all to adapt to the changing nature of our world.

Today, organisations embrace cloud services with confidence. The foundation of the cloud is driving the new workforce, the way we deliver goods to customers, and our buying behaviour. But security continues to be critical. A pragmatic approach assists in mitigating risks and improves and standardises security posture and practices across environments. And the time to be proactive has never been more critical.

A New World
The demand for services that help support a remote workforce and digital transformation efforts is increasing, and it’s no surprise why. Last year, we saw a 150 percent increase in people working remotely, which created an increased need for cloud services. In 2021 alone, spending by end-users on public cloud-based services is expected to grow by more than 18 percent. While Gartner predicts businesses will spend more than $1 trillion on purchases dedicated to the cloud.

The fact is that more companies realise that leveraging the cloud is the most efficient way to solve emerging challenges. Therefore, we can expect a 15 to 20 percent global market growth per year for the foreseeable future.

Flex, Scale, and Empower
While the pandemic propelled many organisations to embrace a software services model, it only sped up the move to the cloud. That process began years ago due to the flexible and scalable nature of the approach. SaaS applications are a natural fit for a wide variety of environments, including start-ups and small businesses.

Managed solutions offer end-users the ability to implement a robust security solution without investing heavily in IT infrastructure that could lead to server issues, enhanced training requirements, and an overworked IT department. For example, access control-as-a-service allows the security oversight to be shifted to the service provider through a hosted platform in the cloud, simplifying operations and overall management. The IT and security leader reaps the cloud’s benefits, such as accessing data and doors at any time from any location.

Mitigating Risks
Imagine if a cyberattack took down the power supply to an entire city without warning? Chaos would ensue. Traffic lights, ATMs and cash registers, fuel pumps, and water pumps would cease to operate amongst a long list of other things. The scary thing is, the scenario of a cyberattack

on critical infrastructure isn’t far-fetched.

Cybersecurity continues to be a significant concern for organizations across the globe. As more businesses embrace the power of the cloud, they also need to ensure they are making the most out of their cybersecurity efforts and protocols. This process includes working with cloud providers, public or private, that embrace the most stringent cybersecurity methods available today. The leading cloud providers, like Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, make it a point to adopt the security measures required to mitigate any online threats. And with good reason — the life of their business depends on it.

Vulnerability testing is a must in today’s evolving risk environment. This process includes analyzing the type of cyberattacks that can potentially attack, breach, and disable a system. This is obviously only one part of the process: With cybersecurity, you must act every week. It is not something you can forget about. A fundamental way of approaching this issue is to stay in the mindset of assuming someone is currently trying to attack one of our systems.

Embracing Security-as-a-Service
As your business looks to embrace cloud-first initiatives, they must seek solutions that promote openness, sustainability, and a strong integration network. Supporting integrations with everything from the leading IoT devices and video cameras to identity management and access control enables the growth of the cloud-supported infrastructure as requirements expand. This method provides organizational stakeholders with the flexibility to quickly scale from mid-size commercial up to enterprise-level security solutions that integrate with, for example, the video security solutions they are using today.

As with any new process, there may be a learning curve associated with adopting a new service and cloud-based business model. That’s why it’s helpful to work with experts who can answer the questions that need to be explicitly answered, the ones around data privacy and cybersecurity and how maintenance and updates work. When evaluating solutions, it’s crucial to consider the business and provide ample guidance in adopting this model successfully.

Over the last year, there’s been a rush toward a higher acceptance of cloud-based security solutions, as stakeholders not only evaluate but realize the benefits from a service and cybersecurity perspective. The future of SaaS will depend on several factors, and the key to success is to select the right solutions. It is important to remember that this shift has only just begun.

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