Cloud computing is rapidly being adopted by organizations to optimize their IT infrastructure and to scale as their business grows. One of the most notable advantages of cloud is that it allows organizations to free up IT resources from routine IT management and maintenance thanks to its delivery of IT as a service. There are three major form of cloud service delivery: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
Historically, organizations had to invest a substantial amount of resources to host their own site, services and applications. Today, organizations simply harness the transformative power of cloud infrastructure and platform services to achieve efficiencies and cut costs. With cloud solutions, organizations are able to greatly reduce their operational costs, which also plays a significant role in helping them achieve a competitive edge.
As cloud computing becomes more prevalent, misconceptions about moving to cloud continue to fade. That said, decision makers still have a few lingering concerns that can cause organizations to hesitate in transitioning to cloud. The most common concerns tend to revolve around information security, reliability, business processes integration complexities, data control and implementation costs. This article highlights some common concerns regarding cloud migration and ways to address them so that organizations can seamlessly transition to cloud.
· Security – Cloud security is a common concern, as traditional thinking is that when your data is with third party, it is at higher risk of security breach. However, cloud service providers deploy additional resources and take extensive measures to ensure data security and confidentiality. A cloud service provider’s growth and reputation largely depends on the security of the services they offer. For instance, most cloud providers have invested in data centers with multiple failovers and redundancy to ensure security.
· Reliability - This is sometimes another concern for organizations looking to move to cloud computing. Some organizations are unsure about the reliability and performance of cloud services. The instances of public cloud service disruptions make them doubt cloud reliability. The fact is that most cloud services guarantee 99% uptime ensuring availability and reliability that equals or exceeds on premise solutions. In addition, cloud service providers incorporate stringent security measures to maintain data integrity and availability. Most service providers can also demonstrate high uptime and availability.
· Data Control - Organizations want to ensure they are in complete control of how, when, and by whom their business critical data is accessed. They are concerned that moving to cloud might result in loss of access and control. This is a misconception as organizations can still access their data in cloud when they need it. The internet is simply the delivery method for cloud technology. Cloud also offers the additional advantage of enabling data access from anywhere, anytime with integrity assurance.
· Business processes integration - Most business operations are interrelated and organizations do not want to invest in an external system that runs independently from other business operations. Cloud service providers understand this concern and have come up with solutions that seamlessly integrate with other business applications. As needed, organizations can get advice from technologyconsulting experts on the best cloud solutions and for designing a roadmap for seamless transition of their business processes to the cloud. Experts will carry out risk analysis and develop a cloud migration plan, which will ensure cloud applications will work well with on premise applications, and that appropriate applications are moved to cloud.
· Maintenance Cost - Some organizations are concerned about cloud’s implementation cost. However, cloud significantly reduces costs such as maintaining data centers, software licensing, energy costs, etc., making it more cost effective in the long-run as compared to on premise infrastructure.
· Compliance with Standards - Some organizations are concerned about their IT infrastructure compliance with required industry standards. Consulting companies that specialize in these industry-specific compliance standards can help ensure a smooth transition to cloud with adherence to required regulatory compliance.
· Employee Education - Organizations often face internal resistance while moving to cloud. It is essential to educate your employees on why the move is happening and train them on how to use cloud services. They should be cognizant of the changes that it will bring about to their operations. Involving employees at every step and keeping them informed enables organizations to better adopt cloud.
Cloud computing has become mainstream IT and it provides many opportunities to improve services and save on operational costs. Transition processes should be carefully planned. The plan should ensure that the best cloud solutions are chosen for business needs and appropriate services are moved to cloud at appropriate times. If needed, for organizations can seek the assistance of technology consulting experts to ensure a seamless transition. Employing professional services will ensure that all possible impacts of shifting to the cloud are taken into account and even the smallest details are addressed.