Top Challenges of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has been a hot buzz word for last few years. But unlike most buzzwords – cloud computing is actually making a massive impact on how we use computers, applications and several utility websites we have grown so accustomed to.
Years ago, employees would rely on their desktop computers to access applications. In fact, it was common practice to download files from a central office server. This was before cloud computing changed the landscape of access to business information.
Cloud computing provides access to applications and data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through the internet. When you update your Facebook status, you are using cloud computing. If you check the balance in your checking account on your smartphone, you are using cloud computing. The same scenario applies when you
check your email or use mobile apps daily. These are all cloud computing based transactions, fueled by the internet.
Cloud computing as an industry is one of the fastest growing industries of our lifetime, and it is experiencing a growth rate of 50% year over year. And the amazing thing is that this growth is not concentrated in one part of the world – rather companies across the globe are embracing the cloud. The global market for Cloud Computing Services is projected to reach $336 billion by 2020. The primary reasons why so many businesses around the globe have moved to cloud is because it increases efficiency and helps improve cash flow. However, just because cloud computing has added several layers of efficiency to business and the speed of information exchange does not mean that it does not present challenges.
Cloud computing challenges remain constant. But companies are aware of the overall value that cloud computing delivers to business and invest heavily in cloud transition and cloud maintenance strategies. Cloud computing challenges are typically grouped into four categories:
(1) Security and Privacy
(2) Inoperability and Portability
(3) Reliability and Availability
(4) Performance and Bandwith Cost
Security and Privacy.
The number one challenge associated with cloud computing is security. This is regarded as a huge risk. Any compromise of data can set a company back for millions of dollars. Not only are security breaches well publicized, but they also leave a stigma on a company’s reputation. Customers become fearful of providing information based on what the hear in the news; and the result is that revenue declines.
With cloud computing, valuable enterprise data is housed outside of the corporate firewall. This raises huge concerns. Hacking and attacks on the cloud infrastructure can affect multiple clients simultaneous, even if only a portion of the service infrastructure is attacked. These risks can be mitigated by using taking certain precautions like proper use of security mechanisms like firewalls, permissions or claims based security. To keep the data secure at rest and in flight – it is highly recommended that we use encryption to encrypt sensitive data. Furthermore, we can deploy specialized software and hardware devices which can track unusual behavior across servers.
It is difficult for most businesses to quantify the amount of a loss due to a security or privacy breach tied to cloud access. For this reason, it is imperative to have a strong Cloud Computing Consulting Firm who is competent enough to manage this risk.
Read: CTO AS A SERVICE
Interoperability and Portability.
Your business should have the flexibility to migrate from one cloud provider to another. Beware of lock-in periods or contract specifications that jeopardize the fluidity of your cloud transition. Neither customers nor employees should feel the winds of internal IT change. In fact, transitions should remain seamless. Cloud Computing Consultants can help you resolve any challenges associated with interoperability and portability.
Reliability and Availability.
Even though cloud provides like AWS and Azure are quite robust – they still do experience an occasional outage. A reputable Cloud Computing Consulting Firm will help you monitor service being provided using internal or third-party tools. In fact, your strategic plan should include solutions that supervise usage, performance, robustness, and business dependency of these services.
Performance and Bandwith Cost
The only way to save money on your purchase of hardware, is to spend more money to increase your bandwidth. For a small business, the cost may not be significant. However, for larger enterprises, which are dependent on data-intensive applications, costs can be exorbitant. Based on this factor, many businesses have delayed their transition to cloud to meet their need to reduce the cost profile.
Cloud Computing Consulting Firms help to eliminate the roadblocks in the pursuit of cloud computing. It is rather important to give serious consideration to these issues and the possible ways out before adopting the technology.
Reasons to Hire a Cloud Computing Consulting Firm
Cloud Computing Consulting Firms provide technology services ranging from consulting to development, customization, support, and testing services. Good consultants will follow a consultative-driven approach for providing end-to-end expertise in all cloud solutions. Today, given the opportunity that exists for cloud integration, there are thousands of Cloud Computing Consulting Firms that offer the expertise and services. There are several reasons why you should hire one of these firms. Cloud Computing Consulting Firms help you define your cloud infrastructure and offer technical expertise. They navigate migration to the cloud in a planned approach which is customized to your business. These consulting firms often perform intense cloud platform management; and, they help you reduce costs by constantly evaluating your cost/risk profile as it relates to potential security issues.
Cloud Infrastructure & Technical Expertise.
Every business needs to build a robust cloud infrastructure. It is counterproductive to slow down operations by implementing audit and controls procedures, before fully migrating to cloud and ensuring the system can sustain you. Consultants will advise you regularly about cloud architecture, engineering, and planning. The expertise in these areas offers businesses a huge advantage – because businesses can get away from incurring massive capital expenditure on hardware and turn their infrastructure costs into operational expenses. Which makes it easier to reach a cash flow positive position sooner rather than later. No wonder most startups these days opt to go with cloud from the get-go.
Cloud migration typically involves combining scalable cloud architectures with classic cloud architectures. It is best to select consultants that have skill sets in both the engineering and legal architectures. Furthermore, a reputable Cloud Computing Consulting Firm offers best practices, guidelines, and insights to help businesses in the migration process from legacy infrastructure and storage resources to the almost infinitely scalable cloud. These professionals know exactly what questions to ask to understand your unique business and apply the correct reference architectures that are suitable for each application requirement.
Cloud Platform Management.
When transitioning to the cloud, there are several factors involved. Monitoring the cloud performance and labor cost may be the significant issues. Apart from performance – it is even more critical to design and architect cloud solutions, so that cloud usage costs do not spiral out of control. Cloud computing generally works on a pay-as-you-go model. The more infrastructure and cloud services you use in your application – the more it will cost to operate it. A professional consulting team will make monitor and optimize your investment effectively.
Perhaps the most valuable advantage of hiring a Cloud Computing Consulting Firm is to help your business reduce costs. The professional cloud consultants are intimately familiar with the complicated processes and the features available on the most popular cloud platforms. Cloud itself is a very new industry and is constantly evolving. The cloud computing consulting firms make it their mission to stay on top of these developments and learn about all the new offerings from the cloud providers. Consultants offer valuable assistance with making a smooth transition and rolling out basic training to streamline operations and ensure cost reductions where applicable.