What if the question isn't "where" your data is going, but rather "why" it's going there?
As I thought about this I had a moment of clarity. I, as a sales leader, represent a major reason customer information is moving to the cloud. My counterparts in marketing represent a major reason customer information is moving to the cloud.
Together, we're potentially the match made in hell for any InfoSec professional depending on the type of customer information we're handling.
Point 1: All companies are seeking to increase revenue
As the competition across industries increases and becomes more fierce, many organizations are looking to sales and marketing to help uncover and drive new paths to revenue. This is a fact that's manifesting in the rise of C-Level revenue accountability (Chief Revenue Officer for example).
Point 2: All companies have been seeking to be more efficient in this endeavor
As sales and marketing teams set out to accomplish Point 1 above, they're being asked to also increase efficiencies, which to many translates to "do more with less." Digital transformation can help here, but you can only cut so far. As a colleague of mine loves to say "but sir, we're pulled over, we can't pull over any further!"
Point 3: All companies now realize that you can't cut your way to profitability, you have to be more productive.
As sales and marketing teams (along with their leadership) come to the realization of Point 2, they also realize that in order to really make headway you have to be more productive. Being more productive means "doing more with what you have." Productivity is additive in nature where efficiency is subtractive.
Point 4: Sales and Marketing productivity is heavily dependent on a vast array of tools and services that are cloud first!
And here it is. In order for sales and marketing to be more productive they have to leverage tools that give them every advantage possible in the market to serve their customers (using advanced analytics, AI, etc).
As you can see below there is no shortage of solutions that sales and marketing leaders can obtain and start using today. The tech stacks for sales and marketing are absolutely insane in depth and breadth and growing daily.
Here's the kicker, nearly all of these technologies are cloud first applications that I can sign up for and use right now (and benefit from nearly as quickly). Which brings me back to my original question…
Do you as an InfoSec professional have a handle on "why" your sales and marketing counterparts are moving customer data to the cloud?
Are you engaged with these teams to understand what they are on the hook to deliver and to what lengths they will go to make this happen?
I sure hope so, because they're probably off to the races already. The only question is whether its with or without you.