As an enterprise IT leader, you’ve likely heard all of the usual benefits of embracing a cloud-first approach as your enterprise scales. Chances are, as workforces have grown more distributed, you’ve even felt the pressure to move more of your tools into the cloud. But you may also have doubts. After all, many IT departments have legitimate concerns about expanding in the cloud – from incurring runaway licensing costs to opening up their organization to potential security threats.

IT teams have good reason to be wary of migrating more of their systems to the cloud. A recent study by Netskope, for instance, found that while the average enterprise uses a whopping 1,295 cloud services daily, less than 10 percent of those services are actually enterprise-ready. That leaves the large majority of cloud tools used by enterprises unable to meet their basic security, workflow, or scaling needs.

It’s no surprise some IT teams are wary of transitioning to a cloud-first approach. But with the right digital strategy, those risks can be mitigated, allowing you to scale in a streamlined, affordable, and secure way.

Fear: Expanding in the cloud means increased serious security risks

While around 94 percent of organizations today use cloud computing in some capacity, security remains the number one concern holding companies back from increasing their rate of cloud adoption. High-profile data breaches at companies like Equifax, Target, and Experia have made headlines, but the experience is surprisingly common. A full 70 percent of organizations hosting data in the public cloud reported at least one security incident in 2019.

However, the threats often actually come from improper use of shadow IT or employees’ poor cybersecurity habits. When an enterprise-level cloud platform has been properly implemented, 94 percent of companies report improved security after moving to the cloud. Here’s why.

Enterprise cloud platforms have dedicated security teams

Moving more of your tools into the cloud might feel like losing visibility into the state of your systems’ safety, but chances are your IT teams are already struggling to stay on top of cybersecurity issues in addition to their other responsibilities. According to a survey by Sonatype, 48 percent of developers say they don’t have enough time to spend on security issues. In contrast, a cloud service provider (CSP) like Atlassian has entire product and development teams who focus on maintaining enterprise-level security. By working with a CSP, internal teams no longer need to continually monitor and proactively fix security threats. Instead, that work is done by Atlassian, where security is continuously tracked, and patches are rolled out to all users as soon as they’re tested.

CSPs ensure security for thousands of employees

Aside from tackling external threats, moving to a cloud-first approach also empowers enterprises to cut down on safety risks introduced by employees. Those risks are real: According to an IBM report, 95 percent of security breaches can be attributed to human error.

Moving to Atlassian Enterprise Cloud – which encompasses Atlassian’s Cloud Premium and Cloud Enterprise plans – can help you protect against human error. Rather than relying on employees to proactively upkeep security standards, you can ensure employees meet enterprise-level security regulations across products by enabling two-factor authentication and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) single sign-on through Atlassian Access, which is included in our Cloud Enterprise plan.

Through Access, IT teams can also automate the process of user provisioning and deprovisioning. Connecting Access to your organization’s identity provider allows you to automate the process of onboarding hundreds of employees a year and can help protect your organization from data breaches caused by unauthorized former employees.

CSPs keep you compliant across multiple geographies and frameworks

Depending on the industry an organization belongs to and what audiences it serves, it likely has to meet one or several compliance regulations – whether that’s the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation or the American Institute of CPAs’ System and Organization Controls compliance. Atlassian meets all major compliance frameworks and even allows enterprises with regional data residency requirements to choose where their data is hosted. Have multiple data residency requirements for different audiences? No problem: On our Cloud Enterprise plan, you can easily set up multiple product instances to isolate data to several different regions as needed.

Fear: Managing users across multiple tools will eat up IT bandwidth

For IT teams at smaller organizations, managing multiple employees across diverse tools is a cumbersome – but manageable – task. Once an organization scales to include hundreds or thousands of employees worldwide, that task can quickly become all-consuming, especially when IT teams are managing multiple disconnected apps and tools for users. Software has also become easier for employees to download and use, making it difficult to monitor who has access to which tools, where information is being stored, and how much organizations will be billed.

Some IT managers may think the solution is to shy away from moving even more systems to the cloud. However, rather than holding onto on-prem solutions, this challenge is best remedied by opting for a unified cloud platform that offers centralized admin controls – ensuring IT managers full visibility and control across an enterprise’s full suite of tools.

Enterprise cloud platforms allow you to centralize admin control

Atlassian Enterprise Cloud plans make monitoring and reporting effortless with their admin insights and analytics. With Jira Cloud Premium, for instance, you can easily pull reports that show users’ security settings, permissions, product usage, and activity over time. And with Atlassian Cloud Enterprise’s built-in centralized admin console, you can get a unified, bird’s-eye view of all Atlassian products being used by employees. Our admin console allows managers to monitor usage across all Atlassian cloud products, manage billing in one place, and enforce security policies (including SAML single sign-on and enforced two-step verification) organization-wide.

As part of our Cloud Enterprise plan, you can also set up multiple instances of Atlassian products, which can then be accessed across the organization or only by certain teams – you decide. There’s no limit to the number of instances that can be set up, and you can automate teams’ or individual users’ access and permissions to different instances via Cloud Enterprise’s centralized admin console. By setting up multiple instances of an Atlassian product, you can keep users’ products streamlined and also optimize for licensing costs across your organization.

Finally, Atlassian’s upcoming Automatic Product Discovery feature allows admins to monitor the creation of any new product instances by managed users. With the launch of Automatic Product Discovery, any time a managed user creates a shadow IT product not linked to their organization, admins will receive an email alert – giving admins full visibility into where and when Atlassian Cloud products are being used.

CSPs give you full visibility into project access

Having continuous visibility into where and when sensitive data has been viewed, copied, or downloaded is a critical part of maintaining security throughout a distributed organization. That’s precisely why we’ve built a centralized audit log into Atlassian Access, which provides enterprise-grade security and administration across Atlassian products. Using Access’s audit log, IT managers can monitor user access across pages and projects at a glance, helping streamline data loss protection, activity monitoring, and collaboration control.

Fear: Subscription costs make migrating to cloud too expensive

At first glance, monthly user licensing costs may make cloud services seem pricier than simply purchasing software for unlimited on-prem usage. In fact, IT professionals report an average savings of 20 percent after moving to the cloud.

CSPs will guarantee server uptime

As a company grows, so does its need for fast and reliable service to its customers – and at an enterprise level, any downtime comes at a significant cost. According to a survey by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, 25 percent of enterprises that experienced server downtime in 2019 reported losses of $301,000 to $400,000 per hour of downtime. (Sixty-one percent of enterprises reported even higher losses than that, with 17 percent of enterprises reporting average hourly downtime costs of over $5 million.)

We understand enterprises’ needs for consistent uptime, which is why we guarantee up to 99.95% percent uptime across our Enterprise Cloud products. You can also rest easy knowing that in the case of any incidents, we have the necessary team and resources on hand to solve them – at no additional cost to you.

A cloud platform allows you to skip out on hardware costs

While at first glance, licensing costs at an enterprise level will definitely seem higher than simply purchasing software for on-prem use, moving to the cloud allows for savings in server costs, server support and maintenance, electric bills, real estate, and asset management. To see your actual return on investment from moving more of your tools to the cloud, try calculating your total cost of ownership for your on-prem or hybrid setup.

A cloud platform lets you see your true software costs

According to 1E, the average enterprise (with a minimum of 30,000 seats) is spending $7.4 million a year on unused and under-used software. With a hybrid or on-prem tech stack, rooting out the apps and tools responsible for this waste is a difficult, if not impossible, task. However, using the admin consoles available within Cloud Enterprise and Cloud Premium, you can easily access your Atlassian cloud products’ usage insights. That visibility allows you to make informed decisions around the products your organization licenses and which users need access to each.

Fear: You can’t centralize your team’s workflow in the cloud

Nailing the perfect workflow to engage employees and foster team collaboration is always challenging – and if you already have a system in place, why fix what isn’t broken? But with teams becoming increasingly distributed and employees expecting remote options more regularly, there are undeniable benefits to shifting your full workflow to the cloud.

A unified cloud solution allows for endless scale

While using a handful (or three) of disconnected niche tools works well when an organization is small, those systems are hard to scale reliably as an organization grows. To solve the issue, enterprises need to shift to a flexible solution that allows for both visibility and customization. With 20,000 seats available per product on our Cloud Enterprise plan and the ability to set up multiple product instances, enterprises can create organization-wide and team-specific product instances to allow for both privacy as needed and the free flow of information between core products like Jira and Confluence.

The right CSP equips teams with centralized workflows

Our remote-friendly workspace, Confluence, was built to enable distributed teams to easily build, organize, and collaborate in real time and in one place. Confluence allows for collaborative document-editing among users and lets organizations create a source of truth for clients and employees alike. Its Smart Links feature also keeps information centralized, allowing users to view key documents from external sources without ever leaving their Confluence page or disrupting their core workflow.

Other tools – including Jira and Trello – are built with integration and customization in mind, so they can sync with your organization’s preferred communication and collaboration apps. With the right mix of tools in place, a cloud-first setup can allow for more visibility across teams, an increased ability to do agile work, and boosted productivity.

Adopting a cloud-first approach allows enterprises to scale safely and affordably

As with any digital shift, migrating your systems to the cloud has its risks – but if you’re aware of them and have a proper plan in place, moving to a cloud-first approach can increase your security, lower your IT costs, and streamline workflows across your organization. According to a survey by TechValidate, those benefits come with an improved ability to scale: 97 percent of IT organizations surveyed rated Atlassian’s scalability above that of competitors.

Curious how we can drive the same results for you? Get in touch with a member of our enterprise team today to learn how we can help you scale.

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