Cloudflare points finger at hyperscalers holding cloud data captive

Cloudflare says organisations are losing control over their IT and security environments – and the big cloud providers are holding all the keys to the castle.

The web performance and security provider released a study alongside Forrester which polled almost 450 IT decision makers globally, and found that while organisations had seen a dramatic increase in application adoption – predominantly SaaS-based – challenges have resulted.

Two in five firms polled (40%) agreed that they were losing control over their IT and security environments, while just under a third (30%) of respondents noted that managing and securing public cloud environments, as well as data in SaaS environments, was ‘significantly more complex’ today than ever before.

This is not the only thing which has changed in recent years either. Almost half of organisations polled said one of their top five challenges was the growing number of users they had to manage, as well as type; not just human, but machine and third-party. IT managers are also experiencing problems with maintaining or improving their team’s productivity – cited by 44% of respondents – as well as addressing growing attack surface areas (44%).

Organisations cited an increase in the number of applications they manage as the biggest factor contributing to the loss of control, cited by 66% of respondents. An increase in locations for applications was also popular, according to 62% of those polled, as well as the shift from on-premises to cloud (54%) and the shift towards remote and hybrid workforces (49%).

Who is to blame for these challenging conditions? For Cloudflare, the answer is obvious. “Today, the big clouds have built business models on capturing your data, making it hard to move your data,” said Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare. “These captivity clouds will lure you in with one product, and make it near impossible to mix and match competitive offerings across the cloud space.”

The company claims that it has a solution, and is introducing what it calls the ‘connectivity cloud.’ It is described as a ‘unified platform of cloud-native services designed to help enterprises regain control over their increasingly complex and sprawling technology and data.’

This means, in principle, four key factors. The first is deep, native integration with the internet and enterprise networks for low-latency and infinitely scalable connectivity across users, applications, and infrastructure. The second is limitless interoperability and customisable networking, while the third is a single pane of glass. The last factor is the ability to analyse extremely high volumes and varieties of traffic in order to provide ‘platform intelligence’, which can be seen as a key strength for Cloudflare.

This appears to be a serious outlay for Cloudflare, who introduced itself in the press release as ‘the leading connectivity cloud company’, which might be a safe bet considering it is thus far a category of one.

“Fundamentally, we are a network that makes it easy for you to connect and protect everything,” added Prince. “We sit atop everything else and connect anything that’s online – whether it’s a cloud, a device, a database, or on-premises hardware – so businesses can escape the grasp of the cloud captors.”

Photo by Rodolpho Zanardo

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