As a leader of operations teams, I believe there are definite benefits to working in the cloud. Once you have your cloud infrastructure up, deployment’s easy. It reduces so much friction when you’re trying to respond to business-critical needs. You can just spin up another server without needing to engage procurement. You don’t have to get networking IPs, get another rack, or sign a lease…and this can shave off months from a project. The flexibility can’t be underestimated.
That said, there are a number of myths floating around that I’d like to address. The first is the lowered cost of moving to the cloud. This isn’t a myth, exactly, but there are hidden costs. When people talk about the reduced cost of the cloud, one thing they never address is the fact that you can’t get out of it. Going back will cost twice as much. What this means to operations teams is that you have to very carefully consider what you move to the cloud, how, and why. You need to work with security partners to make the move with confidence, and you need to educate business partners on the financial impact of moving data back on-prem. There’s not a button you can push that just reverses things.
The second myth has to do with resources. I think some professionals fear that moving to the cloud impacts their job security. Or other business leaders think you can get away with fewer resources by moving to the cloud. I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. There will always be something to manage and configure, and the risks of getting it wrong are just as great.
The last two myths have to do with reasons why people balk at moving to the cloud, and they go hand-in-hand. At the solution architecture level, the barrier to moving to the cloud is mostly about their sense of control. Their resistance comes from believing it’s more important to see and touch your entire infrastructure. Having worked in the industry for decades, I totally get this perspective. I think it boils down to the fact that CSPs have the appetite and the dollars to build a more secure, more available, more resilient infrastructure than you or I could ever build on our own.
An overwhelming need to protect data is what drives this need for control from mid-level to upper-level management. If you’re responsible for the security of your company’s data as it travels, then you want as much control as possible. With the amount of news about misconfigured buckets, stolen credentials, and elevated privileges, it’s not surprising that people think you can’t adequately secure your data in the cloud. I think there’s a better way. In fact, what intrigued me about coming to Ionic was the possibility of moving my data to the cloud and still controlling my keys. In my next two blog posts, I’ll look at some cloud-based use cases and how they can benefit ops teams.
Jimmy Baker, senior director of operations at Ionic Security, has over 25 years of experience in analyzing and implementing technical business requirements to lead high-performing operational and IT teams.