Jumping Headfirst Into the Cloud? Not So Fast
Jumping Headfirst Into the Cloud? Not So Fast
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The feeling in business is that if you wait too long to act, you’ll quickly get left behind. This has never been truer than with the rush of businesses adopting cloud computing. It’s a perfectly understandable stance to take. The cloud offers vast new possibilities in helping businesses reach new customers, improve productivity, and create innovative solutions to boost growth and opportunities. With so many incentives and the fear of getting pushed to the back of the pack, many business are jumping into the cloud without hesitation. Though it’s tempting to do so, making that leap may not be the smartest move without a well thought plan in place first. In some cases, the cloud may not even be the best option. To make the best decision for your company and create the right cloud adoption plan, there are a number of items and issues that need to be considered.
Public or Private Cloud
One of the biggest decisions you need to make when moving your business to the cloud is whether to adopt a public or private cloud. Most companies make a move to the public cloud by choosing a cloud provider, but others prefer to operate their own private option. A private cloud works best for businesses that want to keep sensitive information on-premise and out of the hands of a third party. Private clouds are also attractive options for those organizations that want to ensure their environments are compliant with current laws and regulations. Adopting the public cloud can also grant more flexibility in creating the appropriate infrastructure needed for the company.
One of the biggest concerns all business owners should have is cloud security. When going with a cloud vendor, you must always investigate to find out what security measures the provider users. After all, you are entrusting valuable data to them, so becoming familiar with how they protect it should be a priority. The need for secure servers is great in the face of growing hacking threats, so when adopting cloud computing through a vendor, make sure the provider uses effective measures like data encryption, malware detection, and proper authentication.
No matter which cloud provider you choose, there will come a time when maintenance must be performed. If that maintenance happens during an inconvenient time for your business, you could end up hurt by it. Before choosing a provider, you should always find out when they have scheduled site maintenance and downtime to make sure your business won’t be harmed. This requires coordination with the provider, but also proper planning beforehand. Sometimes, maintenance and upgrades need to be take, care of without a lot of warning, so pay close attention to any notices that come from providers.
Internet Connection Plans
Using the cloud requires a connection to the internet. As long as that connection is maintained, things should work smoothly, but as you’re probably all too aware, the internet can go down at the worst times. Every business that moves to the cloud needs to have a backup plan for just such an unfortunate situation. At the same time, you should also make sure you have enough bandwidth to handle the transition to handle any BYOD needs your company has. Moving to the cloud places new demands on your equipment, so having an adequate bandwidth capacity to handle an increased workload is necessary.
While you’re focused on making sure your business is up and running at all times, your cloud provider may suddenly cease operation. If that happens, you could potentially lose your data either temporarily or permanently. For that reason, every business needs a data loss prevention plan or a way to access data when the cloud isn’t cooperating. This strategy usually requires backing up data to an on-premise site, essentially having a hard copy using something like flash storage, so your most vital information that can keep your company operating is available during some downtime. Without this plan in place, your company could take a serious hit not just in revenue but in reputation as well.
Of course, there are more items to consider than just the ones listed above, but they are a good starting point. While so many businesses are jumping to the cloud, a move of that magnitude shouldn’t be treated lightly no matter how easy it seems on the surface. Only by considering all the possibilities and potential drawbacks can you decide if moving to the cloud is the right decision and how best to make that possible.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.