With so much opportunity surrounding cloud technologies, you’d think cloud computing challenges don’t exist. Just snap your fingers, and your problems around infrastructure, integration and collaboration are solved.
Investigating Common Cloud Computing Challenges
CIOs know there’s more than meets the eye when evaluating a cloud migration. In fact, most encounter several cloud computing challenges, including:
When your critical business processes and data are hosted off-site, your hosting company is responsible for security. And when you make the leap to the cloud, you may feel more vulnerable because hackers tend to target data centers.
When you talk to a cloud services provider, you’ll need to know your critical data won’t reside on an unsecured server in someone’s closet. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but you simply can’t afford to compromise security.
Your cloud services provider should put your mind at ease by using a hosting service with impeccable security precautions, and your provider should be certified on that platform. Beyond that, you’ll want to consider:
- The financial soundness of your cloud services provider. You want a provider that has the resources to invest in all security technologies as they evolve; things like firewalls, encryption technology, anti-virus protection, etc.
- Security certifications. Which do they have, and are they relevant to the services you’ll be using?
- Employee vetting process. How does your provider ensure it’s not vulnerable to an attack from the inside?
- Security audits. Does your provider do regular security audits, and what are details of their audit procedures?
Just how serious is your cloud services provider? Does it offer 24/7 support? Is this problem mitigation available on a remote basis anytime from anywhere? What does their Service Level Agreement (SLA) say in regard to service response time?
If you’re out of town on business, or even on vacation, and you get a call from your IT Director at 3 a.m. that your system is down, you can’t afford to wait until regular business hours to get the problem solved. In fact, even if the system is running fine, you may want to talk to support. For instance, if there were a natural disaster in their region, you’d want reassurance they haven’t been affected.
Data Backup and Recovery
Major cloud hosting providers have excellent backup provisions, but you need a cloud computing service provider that knows how to optimize these services for your business. The service provider you choose must be able to handle the variety of operating systems, types of servers and/or workstations your business depends on.
More importantly, your cloud services provider should have the expertise to correctly configure backup and data recovery systems for your business.
Cloud Data Migration
This might be the most problematic of all. If you can’t get your data from your place to their place, nothing else matters. To maximize the savings and efficiency that moving to the cloud provides, the migration must be handled correctly. Your cloud services provider must have a plan to:
- Assess your current environment
- Design the migration method that best serves your needs
- Plan to minimize the impact of any migration downtime on your business
- Do quality assurance and testing
- Devise a plan to train both IT and LOB staff on any procedures that may be changing.
These cloud computing challenges may seem a bit daunting, but migrating to the cloud also enables your business to:
- Streamline your operation by consolidating it into one secure system. This will also increase user satisfaction and participation.
- Remove the cost of hosting and maintaining on-site critical business applications
- Eliminate the need to deal with annoying application upgrades
- Improve application speed, performance and security
- Maintain control and flexibility. In fact, with the right cloud services provider, your operational flexibility will increase, and you’ll have expert help when you need it.
With an experienced cloud services provider, you can transform these cloud computing challenges into opportunities for your business.
Many IT support providers were late to the cloud and have limited knowledge and experience with these technologies. Agile IT has been invested in the cloud since day 1. We look beyond your immediate needs to design and execute a cloud strategy that empowers your team to do more.