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Arkansas State University

The Benefits and Challenges of Doing Business in the Cloud

The cloud has become a foundation of business in the data age. Nine out of 10 businesses worldwide, regardless of size, use the global network of remote servers to store data, run applications, support work-from-home operations and connect with business partners.

Yet, for all the advantages of doing business in the cloud, less than 40% of companies are leveraging all the benefits, according to Accenture. Still, a solid majority of IT and cybersecurity managers worry about protecting the safety of their data and systems in the cloud.

The underappreciated pros and potential cons of cloud-based operations are creating future-proof career opportunities for computer and systems professionals with cybersecurity expertise and strong working knowledge of cloud infrastructure. Graduates of an advanced degree program gain the critical skills in digital technology, cloud computing and cybersecurity to take advantage of these pros, face the challenges and succeed in a digital world.

The Arkansas State University (A-State) online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Digital Technology & Design with a Concentration in Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity program helps professionals enter this high-demand, evolving field.

What Advantages Do Businesses Gain by Migrating to the Cloud?

The cloud emerged about 20 years ago but quickly grew into a business-critical resource when businesses had to adopt work-from-home policies during the COVID-19 shutdowns. As cloud-services providers such as Salesforce adapted by refining and expanding their offerings, businesses began realizing its benefits.

Among its top advantages of doing business in the cloud, Salesforce includes the following:

  • Cost savings. After the initial investment, businesses eliminate additional IT costs required to share data and applications across the enterprise. Moreover, cloud pricing is scalable, meaning companies only pay for the capacity they need and can increase it as demand requires.
  • Flexibility. Cloud-services providers manage IT hosting and infrastructure, freeing up time and other resources for business-growth projects. Salesforce shares survey findings that 65% of executives say the cloud enables them to quickly meet business demands.
  • Increased collaboration. Sharing cloud-based data, applications and other digital assets across the enterprise — whether onsite or on the other side of the world — ensures everybody is looking at the same information at the same time without making additional demands on IT capacity.

Still, while the cloud creates those and many other advantages that have the potential to transform operations, many businesses are not realizing the full benefit of their cloud investments.

While cloud encryption protects data and apps, “Security and compliance risk remains the greatest barrier to cloud adoption,” Accenture notes. It adds that the complexity of cloud-native software design and a talent shortage are “major roadblocks to a cloud-first journey.”

What Do Employers See As the Cloud’s Most Significant Cyber Risk?

One of the key benefits of doing business in the cloud is also one of its potential weaknesses. While cloud computing enables remote teams and business partners to collaborate in real-time, sharing digital resources can create vulnerabilities. Unauthorized access, data breaches and phishing attacks rank among the primary concerns — all of which are amplified when employees use public networks that lack adequate protection.

While many consider the cloud a highly secure data environment, two-thirds of businesses rank data leakage as a top cybersecurity concern. Half are concerned about employees using company devices for personal activity, which can open the door to malicious actors.

In fact, “73% of executives perceive remote workers as a greater security risk. This concern stresses the need for robust security protocols and employee education about safe digital practices in a remote work setting,” Forbes warns.

What Is the Best Way to Prepare for a Career in Cloud Design and Cybersecurity?

A B.S. in Digital Technology & Design – Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity Design is an ideal way to gain expertise in cyber-risk analysis and mitigation techniques. A-State’s online program, for instance, prepares graduates for high-demand roles through a curriculum that includes the following courses:

  • Cybersecurity Risk Management focuses on the potential risks associated with cloud infrastructure and devising comprehensive strategies to mitigate them. It helps students gain insight into vulnerability assessment, compliance management and the development and deployment of security controls.
  • Software Design Solutions explores advanced security protocols like three-layer design and cloud-native enhanced security software development. Chronosphere describes this as mandatory for companies that want to take “full advantage of cloud computing technology.”
  • Network and Data Security immerses students in solutions and enhancements into solutions that identify and prevent unauthorized access to the system network and data assets.

Become a Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity Specialist

Even with the challenges that accompany growing digital technologies, professionals must grasp how to utilize them and anticipate their complexities.

ISACA reports that nearly 80% of 2,000 polled cybersecurity professionals “anticipate a surge in demand for technical cybersecurity contributors in the coming year… In our interconnected digital age, especially with the rise of AI, the need for robust cybersecurity measures is not just a luxury but a necessity.”

Those looking to build high-demand skills in the technology, design, cloud computing and cybersecurity space can start their journey with an advanced degree from A-State.

Learn more about A-State’s online Bachelor of Science in Digital Technology & Design with a Concentration in Cloud Computing & Cybersecurity program.

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