While the rewards are great, the journey to the cloud is not always a clear path. Whether your organization has already adopted the cloud, you are in the process of moving towards the cloud or you are still just thinking about dipping your toes into the cloud, as an IT leader you need to spend the time to understand the business motivation and strategic drivers that underlie your organization’s migration to the cloud.
Over the years, IT has moved out of the backroom to support business growth. CIOs are now tasked with the directives to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and drive innovation, and the cloud is the catalyst for realizing these strategic advantages. However, successfully identifying and prioritizing the forces driving change are key to successfully executing a cloud strategy.
In PWC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 82% of organizations worldwide name cloud technology as a key part of the IT strategy. To realize the cloud’s full potential, IT leaders need to understand the common challenges driving cloud adoption. Now while there are many reasons an organization my move to the cloud, here are 6 common ones we’ve seen…
- Lack of in-house IT expertise and resources
There is a scarcity of expertise in cloud architecture, security, deployment and performance optimization. Most organizations lack the skills needed in-house to confidently move forward with their cloud initiatives. In a survey by Softchoice, a lack of the right skills led 34 percent of IT leaders to experience a cloud failure caused by their staff’s action.
Successful cloud deployments require the help of certified experts with advanced skills. To acquire these skills, the choices come down to training, hiring or outsourcing. External resources who can streamline operations, optimize performance and scalability, monitor and support applications, easily adapt to change and reduce the complexity of your cloud infrastructure, are often the most economical choice for not only the speed but also the success of your cloud migration.
- Security and compliance concerns
Every day we see a news of another organization who has been compromised, and this risk is the number one reason organizations delay their move to the cloud. The reality is that security in the cloud is not all that different than on-premises. To mitigate risk, organizations need to have a strategic plan that identifies where the risks lie and address how to protect sensitive data.
Security policies and protocols should be set in place that addresses physical security, as well as cloud security, and includes encryption, backups and disaster recovery. It’s important to find out how your cloud provider meets appropriate compliance mandates, such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA, and check for certifications such as the ISO 27001. To understand the inherent risks, conduct tests to determine vulnerability points, apply controls and manage SLAs. And, most of all, remain vigilant.
- Cost of aging infrastructure
An aging, on-premises infrastructure is expensive to upgrade and maintain, and a big reason behind the push to the cloud. However, before moving critical applications, it’s important to understand how the move to the cloud will affect your operations. Gartner recommends analyzing total cost of ownership unique to your business, to segment the cloud use cases and look beyond cost issues alone. They also state that you should check with financial specialists to understand the implications of switching from a capital expenditure (CapEx) to operating expenditure (OpEx).
- Private cloud challenges
Although there are numerous advantages to private cloud in reducing performance bottlenecks, simplifying management and maintaining a higher level of security and compliance, the upfront and implementation costs, can be much higher than expected. Considerations for resources that go unused and the complexities of managing the hybrid infrastructure make private cloud a candidate for third-party management with a vendor who has a deep understanding of the technical aspects of providing both private and public clouds.
- Cloud Governance
Effective management of information security in the cloud is a key concern. As employees increasingly access cloud applications on non-approved devices, IT departments lose control over the cloud environment. To address shadow IT and prevent data loss, CIOs need to develop comprehensive procedures for approving cloud applications. Risk needs to be properly managed and balanced against the needs of the business and individuals who require cloud services.
- Reliability and availability of services
Some businesses remain skeptical about whether the cloud will be able to run mission-critical applications with the reliability that is required. Organizations can proactively address this concern with strong SLAs and by defining application-specific performance needs ahead of time to optimize cloud deployments.
Cloud adoption is a critical business initiative. OneNeck IT Solutions is committed to helping our customers gain clarity from cloud complexity. We help our customers navigate the cloud to get the Right Application, on the Right Cloud, at Right Time! Whether your workload is best suited for a major public cloud, within a private cloud or even in a hybrid cloud solution, we can help you decide what option is best for your unique business.