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Adopting Cloud Solutions: The Inherent Risk of Inadequate Skills

Lack of IT skills and Perils

In one of our earlier Risks To Watch articles, we discussed how organizations face the risk of not accepting adequate and relevant security measures on time due to resistance from the end-users. On a similar subject, Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently expressed its views. The study highlights how the lack of cloud policy and the necessary skill set restrict organizations from adopting advanced and comprehensive cloud services.

According to this research, almost 63% of the employees in any organization feel the requirement for training in cloud-related skills to either serve the employer or progress in their own careers. 

We believe continuous and rigorous training is the only way to bridge the skill and knowledge gap for cloud adoption. If it doesn’t happen, then organizations will find it difficult to scale up. Furthermore, from an IT security perspective, data breaches and insider threats, among other IT crimes, will keep surfacing time and again, if the workforce is not adequately trained and cloud policies are not formulated. 

Explanation

For multiple reasons, such as increased workloads, automation, changes in business dynamics, or maybe simply the need to scale up, organizations typically make amendments and enhancements to the IT infrastructure. 

However, several risk factors lie here. For instance, during the pandemic, organizations went through a massive transition in their IT infrastructure as the workforce switched from on-prem environments to remote conditions. Likewise, they shifted their remote work conditions to a hybrid work mode in the post-pandemic times. 

Against this backdrop, and to meet the demand for IT operational effectiveness, organizations started opting for a multi-cloud environment.

However, many organizations, while adopting cloud services, failed to adopt the best practices for cloud security, such as cloud governance, cloud identity and entitlement management, including privileged access management. This negligence increased the risk of non-compliance, credential abuse, insider threats, and data breaches.

Clearly, a lack of cloud policies exposes organizations to breaches; however, in many cases, the lack of policies is the result of a lack of acceptance to change.

For example, there are several non-IT hindrances that prolong the cloud policy adoption process.

  • Employers and employees may sometimes presume that the change of existing work pattern could increase their workload and thus fear performance gaps
  • Many times, there are inter-department clash, for example, between IT infrastructure, IT operations, and IT risk management teams to adopt a new cloud policy
  • Many times, IT risk management and compliance teams are afraid of restructuring their IT security policies after perusing the cloud compliance guidelines such as FedRAMP, NIST, NERC, GDPR, SOC2, etc. and delays cloud adoption

Organizations can prevent this ambiguity from the workforce through complete and adequate training and knowledge-sharing sessions about cloud compliance policies, rules, and mandates as well as the opportunities and benefits of cloud infrastructure. Even organizations can ensure digital trust and reliability among their customers.

The Bottom-line:

IT professionals face multiple complex challenges while adopting cloud solutions. Before addressing the technical challenges, every organization needs to clear off the non-technical challenges that might come from their own workforce. 

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