The use of cloud technology is on the rise, as businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the multiple benefits cloud computing can have in terms of efficiency and profitability. The technology is now used by as much as 70% of U.S. organizations. The figure is expected to grow further, as businesses surveyed said they were working on transferring more IT operations to the cloud.
The chief benefits listed by organizations that have successfully moved to the cloud include increased efficiency, ease of access, simpler administration and management, and overall lower costs. But before reaping the benefits of cloud technology, businesses will first have to move there successfully — a process often fraught with various challenges, from insufficient planning to obsolete technology and more.
Here are some of the biggest challenges a business might have to overcome when moving its operations to the cloud.
- Getting It Right
Unless you’re moving to a platform-as-a-service it’s easy to get things wrong the first time. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud can be thought of like Legos: There are many different pieces and tons of ways to assemble something. Have a trusted, experienced IT Provider guide the process if possible.
- People and Processes
When it comes to cloud adoption, the biggest challenge isn’t technology — it’s the people and processes that must change and adapt. This takes time, limiting the effectiveness of cloud adoption. Younger companies and those with tech innovation test centers will make this transition easier.
- Having A Defined Strategy and Business Objectives
There is a multitude of reasons to migrate to the cloud: agility, flexibility, performance, cost, digital transformation, etc. Your business objectives must dictate your cloud strategy, which is inherently complex. We work with companies daily that struggle with cloud migration, and often, the struggle is due to a lack of clearly defined strategy.
- Time, Cost and Security
Time, cost and security are the most common challenges. Moving data is a slow process because it requires a lot of bandwidth and man hours. There are also security doubts, and companies often prefer to keep their data on local servers. Overcoming such concerns are the biggest challenges. Managed services are already powerful enough to offer cost-effective service compared to what companies have now.
- Changing Management’s Focus
The same as any big IT project, the biggest challenge is often the change in management’s focus from an internal process to an outsourced IT Provider managing the process. You need to be sure to help your organization to define its objectives.
- Dependable Technological Infrastructure
As a business becomes more dependent on cloud computing, the technological infrastructure of its work space is of utmost importance. Before evaluating new software/storage methods, owners should consider whether their network infrastructure and support is equipped for it. Does it have the necessary redundancies to prevent outages? Does it afford the necessary mobile coverage?
- Accurately Estimating the Costs
Many companies that move to the cloud do a poor job estimating the true cost of service. Everyone sees the cents per service unit but fails to multiply this out correctly over the length of a month or a year. When tasked to start the migration to the cloud, start with the services that you host in-house that are least used instead of those services most used. This is where you’ll find your savings.
- Applying Security Policies to The Cloud Environment
One of the major challenges is translating your security policies to the cloud environment. Companies can’t assume the cloud provider will handle all security aspects over the data. When migrating to the cloud, companies should work with an experienced IT Services provider to implement and maintain a workable security policy.
- Connecting Legacy Systems or Applications with Cloud Applications
Most current applications, particularly systems of record (the backbone of an organization’s operations) are not cloud-ready. The biggest challenge is to connect legacy systems with newer cloud-based business applications. For your short-term to mid-term plans, solutions that can operate in a hybrid environment are essential, along with services from vendors that can support a company’s migration to the cloud.