Cloud Adoption and Challenges in Asia-Pacific

Organizations around the world understand the importance and the challenges of cloud adoption, and they continue to adopt the technology at a fast pace. Gartner predicted that the cloud market in India will reach $3 billion by 2017, which represents an almost fivefold increase from 2012.

Challenges of Cloud Adoption

On one hand, while cloud promises to change the way businesses run, it also presents significant challenges relating to information security and privacy. Organizations need to understand that, in addition to cost reduction and the ability to move from one licensing model to another, the major drivers behind cloud adoption should be transformation and innovation.

The Asia Cloud Computing Association’s “Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2016” recognized Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia above markets such as Germany, the U.K. and the U.S., showing that Asian economies are leading the world in cloud readiness but are extremely cautious about making the jump.

Below are some contributing factors:

Data Security

The cloud is an off-premises system, with data centers most likely residing in the U.S. and Europe. A strong security strategy is necessary to protect data, prevent cyberattacks and comply with international regulations, but it should not impact performance. Encryption of data being sent to the cloud and decryption of files back from the cloud should not impact the user experience.

Lack of Standardization

A provider could have the latest security features, but due to the general lack of cloud standardization, there are no clear-cut guidelines unifying cloud providers. Given the increase of cloud providers in different sectors, this is a huge problem for clients in determining how safe their data really is.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

IT governance and risk managers need to work closely with the business to understand key cloud computing principles and to help establish effective governance practices.

Integration and Portability

Onboarding to the cloud platform is one of the key challenges faced by organizations looking to adopt cloud. Onboarding requires portability of key components that can be moved to the cloud and determining their interoperability with components that remain on in-house systems.

Cloud Security Is a Shared Responsibility

The biggest challenge that needs to be addressed is the notion that security is in the hands of the cloud provider. Security is a shared responsibility, and experts stress that the customer actually bears most of it. The majority of cloud threats can be avoided by ensuring basic security practices, such as:

  • Know where your data resides.
  • Use encrypted cloud services.
  • Use strong passwords and change them frequently.
  • Employ endpoint control over all devices accessing the data.
  • Create a backup schedule.
  • Stay alert, never assume and don’t take shortcuts to security.

Read the IDC white paper: A CISO’s Guide to Enabling a Cloud Security Strategy

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Preethy Soman

Market Segment Manager for Application Security, IBM

Preethy has over 8 years of experience in IT security and has served in a variety of roles including security sales and...