Cloud computing is older than you might think. Its theoretical inception dates back to the early 1960’s. In recent years, the technology and infrastructure behind cloud computing has evolved rapidly. As such, organizations have increasingly recognized the benefit of moving their applications and enterprise data to the cloud, outside of their private networks. So what is the motivation behind moving enterprise data to the cloud? Does this accelerated shift to cloud-based architecture represent the “new normal” for enterprise IT? The cloud offers many advantages, as you will see. Let’s dig in.
Moving enterprise data to the cloud gives three immediate strategic advantages
1) Platform modernization
One clear advantage of moving enterprise data to the cloud is the ability to modernize platforms quickly. Virtualized infrastructure allows organizations to separate the management of front-end and back-end systems. It also facilitates the introduction of new platforms for specialized software or services. As such, organizations can scale their operations without making (or losing) massive investments in on-premises equipment.
2) Application Management
Another benefit of moving enterprise data to the cloud is application management. Over the past several years, dependence on enterprise-level applications has increased. However, self-hosting requires significant investments in space, equipment and personnel. The more dependent an organization is on an enterprise-level application, the more reluctant it becomes to make major changes. This is true even when changes are necessary and vital.
Transitioning to cloud-based applications can address an institution’s need for high reliability and high availability. It may lower expenses, increase efficiency, and ensure ongoing vendor support. Often, this can be accomplished without forgoing the benefits of operating on always-updated software and infrastructure.
3) Enterprise data
A third consideration for moving to the cloud is the enterprise data itself. In the last decade, data generation has doubled every year. It shows no sign of stopping. More data means more information, which can be good for decision-making. However, when organizations keep their data on premises, it opens up questions of scalability and performance. Proper development of cloud-based applications solves this problem for a seemingly infinitely scalable solution.
Moving enterprise data can increase data security
For higher education institutions, security is a risk not worth taking. A 2016 BitSites Insight report found that higher education institutions are the top target for ransomware attacks. Higher education institutions were more than twice as likely to field ransomware attacks than any other sector.
Earlier this year, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) reported that it was victimized by a ransomware attack that breached its medical research data. In fact, in 2019, nearly 90 educational institutions fell victim to ransomware attacks. Further, early 2020 reports showed that the sector was on pace for more than 70 such instances this year.
Criminals target higher education institutions because they represent easy targets and have cash. Bad actors may take aim at staff personnel with access to critical data using simple phishing attacks, or they may exploit known (or discovered) vulnerabilities in institutional IT infrastructure. And because it is such a tempting target for cybercriminals, higher education IT infrastructure also serves as a real-world test bed for evolving malware attacks.
Moving enterprise data to the cloud offers an additional layer of security by moving it out of the ransomware target. While schools may still get attacked, their data remain secure, encrypted and fully available in the cloud to authorized institutional users. Of course, this security depends on the integrity and best practices of the software provider. So it is extremely critical to choose the right partner vendor.
The future of enterprise data in the cloud
The migration to cloud-based systems shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. According to Gartner Research, enterprise spending on cloud will make up nearly 15% of global spending on IT by 2024. That’s a nearly 50% increase over global IT spending this year. Additionally, 70% of organizations that currently use cloud computing plan to increase their cloud spending as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forrester Research, another IT industry research firm, says that by 2022, organizations that depend upon IT will have placed as much as 75% of their workload in either public or private cloud infrastructure. Consistently, one of the accelerators of this move to virtualized infrastructure is COVID-19. However, organizations began moving enterprise data to the cloud well before the pandemic struck in 2019.
Further, Information Technology research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) reported earlier this year that organizational IT infrastructure expenditures for public cloud services exceeded expenses for on-premises IT infrastructure for the first time in history. This supports the growing consensus that the move to a cloud-based IT infrastructure is accelerating.
Finding your perfect cloud-based enterprise system
As you can see, the attraction of interconnectedness is undeniable. Many organizations now see cloud computing as the best and only way forward. However, it all depends on the strength of the platform. A best-in-class cloud platform should integrates all of systems, store data securely, and reduce the demands on internal IT staff.
If you are evaluating different cloud-based solutions, be sure to ask about these kinds of features and how they are addressed. Otherwise, you may end up with a less than stellar platform, or one that claims to be “cloud based” but really isn’t. It helps to know the important details upfront, with assurance that you have made the right decision.
About our cloud-based enterprise eRA
If your organization is not yet on a cloud-based research administration system with 100% uptime, now is your opportunity. Streamlyne delivers a comprehensive, cloud-based enterprise research administration tool that manages all aspects of the research administration process, from pre-award to close-out. Streamlyne Research is highly secure and accessible from anywhere, so your research teams can remain productive wherever they are.
For more information about Streamlyne Research and how moving enterprise data to the cloud can improve your research administration strategy, please contact us today.