Note: One of the most commonly cited reasons for not moving into the cloud are security concerns. The easy way to alleviate those fears is to do thorough research into the type of security your hosting provider’s data center has.
The cloud isn’t a fix-all for any business, but it can provide substantial benefits, if you make sure to avoid some common cloud adoption mistakes.
Although personal cloud adoption is most likely at an all time high with products like Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud, enterprise cloud adoption is growing slowly. The problem lies in those raving about the cloud and claiming it can solve all of a business’s problems, and those protesting the cloud, saying it is the least secure solution of all enterprise hosting solutions. Neither camp is entirely accurate, but the cloud can be a great resource for enterprises, so long as they avoid the following six pitfalls that can happen with enterprise cloud adoption.
The first mistake a company can make is worrying first about legacy applications in the cloud. Companies have a lot of outdated software that just sticks around because it works, even if it’s antiquated. This software might not work in the cloud and that makes a lot of IT managers think twice about moving their operations. Naturally, moving critical applications to the cloud is important and should be a consideration, but never a roadblock. The reality of tech today is that your company could be releasing a new app doing twice as much as the old one did in a matter of days. As things constantly change and shift, IT managers should put more weight on deciding for the future (i.e. moving into the cloud) than putting all their eggs in the legacy software basket.
Next, lots of big companies assume that they have to move into the public cloud. The public cloud has a lot of great features and options, but usually best serves those enterprises that only need a one-size-fits-all solution. Also, the public cloud has more risk of downtime, and almost always limits how much control users have over their setup and systems. If your company can’t handle any downtime, even as short as it may be with a four nine guarantee, then your safest bet is to probably stick with a private cloud. Additionally, hosting in the public cloud gives you a greater risk of getting entry-level tech support instead of dedicated professionals who know your situation exactly. However, depending on which company you choose to host with, that might never be the case, public or private cloud.
Along the same thread, the third pitfall that IT managers can find themselves in when they move into the cloud is assuming that they must go into a private cloud if their company is small. Investing in a private cloud means more upfront investment in hardware, maintenance, and IT management. If you’re a smaller business, then going small is probably the last thing you want to do. You certainly want to take advantage of the faster, better, cheaper cloud computing environment, but probably not in a private cloud.
Note: A common problem for those purchasing a hosting solution for the first time is overestimating what they need. If you only want to host a personal website, chances are good that a Cloud Virtual Server will meet all your needs.
Fourth, people who love the cloud tend to downplay any security concerns. For as helpful, secure, and agile as the cloud is, it can only be made better for companies that are aware of the security issues that come with hosting in the cloud, so those holes can be plugged or removed entirely. Public cloud security is outstanding because providers realize the kind of trust that companies are placing with them. But the unfortunate bottom line is that security breaches can still occur, so enterprises need to remain vigilant about maintaining data security. As always, key components for any system should be redundancy and disaster recovery. This is true not just of public clouds but private clouds as well.
The fifth pitfall is ignoring data sovereignty when moving to the cloud. Some companies don’t give customers the choice of where their data is stored (good providers do let users choose, however). If your company uses business practices legal in one state but not sanctioned in another, or even in a different country, you’ll want to pay close attention to laws abroad. In this case, it might be more beneficial to implement a private cloud so all of your data resides exactly where you want it to.
Finally, the biggest pitfall that companies encounter is simply waiting to implement a cloud solution for their business. Some claim it’s just a fad, but in reality cloud computing is changing the way business happens all across the world. The only way to believe all the hype you hear is to give cloud hosting a try yourself and see if it works for you. Just be sure to avoid the pitfalls as you move forward.