The migraines of migration
Enterprises have taken fondly to the cloud for its scalability, cost-efficiency and flexibility. According to a Forrester Research survey consisting of 1,000 tech decision makers for North American and European enterprise infrastructure, 38% said they were building private clouds, 32% said they were building public clouds and the rest said they intend to adopt some type of cloud within the year. However, migrating to the cloud is easier said than done. Here is a list of some of the key challenges businesses face making the transition.
Choosing a vendor
Not all clouds are created equal. Each vendor has a mix of strengths and weaknesses. A private cloud vendor, for example, may offer greater agility but less scalability. By the same token, a public cloud vendor may offer greater scalability but less agility. Furthermore, some vendors will try to “lock in” customers by using proprietary software and hardware, making it impossible for them to use a different cloud vendor. Consequently, it is important companies ask cloud vendors if they have the data migration tools necessary to move data.
The security industry is struggling to keep up with cloud growth, which has accelerated in the past few years. According to a survey conducted by CloudPassage, approximately 49% of CIOs and CSOs site the fear of data loss and leakage as a major issue thwarting cloud adoption. In addition, 59% of respondents said conventional network security tools and appliances work only somewhat or not at all.
Lack of control
Placing sensitive company data onto a public platform contains it share of risks, which aren’t limited to security threats. It can be difficult for businesses to place their trust in a third party partner with insider information. Management policies can also impose limits on what users are able to do with deployments. Moreover, shifting sensitive data to a public platform can require authorization, which is both time consuming and beyond the control of companies.
Although cloud computing can help save business money, tuning the platform to fit a company’s needs can be expensive. Additionally, the costs of transferring data to public clouds can be an issue for small scale and short-lived projects. Companies may be able to save money on system acquisitions, management and maintenance, for example, but may have to invest in additional bandwidth. Moreover, in the absence of routine governance, an infinitely scalable computing platform can quickly overrun costs.
Downtime is arguably the worst downside of the technology. No vendor can claim to offer a platform free of possible downtime. Even the best service providers experience outages from time to time. The technology makes small companies dependent on the reliability of a web connection. Businesses with an unreliable internet connection may want to think twice before migrating to the cloud.