All over the globe, clouds are puffing up into plump storage repositories as more and more (and more and more) companies worldwide are turning to cloud computing for their business needs. According to Verizon’s State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2014 Report, already 65% of enterprises are in the cloud
There are many benefits for utilizing cloud services for your business. As well as the unlimited storage space that you can tap into (which, for many companies is reason enough to begin migration), you can lower the operating costs of your in-house data centers, benefit from greater security of your digital assets, improve your application performance and greatly improve your cost-effectiveness right across your IT service needs.
Clearly, there are many advantages that IT managers are attracted to when it comes to the cloud. Disaster recovery, cost savings and centralization of data management are very important considerations for any business, and the cloud provides solutions for all of these and much more.
Despite this, however, migrating to the cloud can be tricky, and there are a few stumbling blocks that can be very easily tripped over when making the transition. Cloud migration is a good business move, but it needs to be done carefully and considerately.
They say that fools learn from their own mistakes, and the wise man learns from the fool’s. So, in order to try and guide you along the path of accumulated wisdom as garnered by the folly of many an unenlightened IT technician in the past, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 cloud migration and storage mistakes that have proven to be the undoing of many a fool in days gone by, as well as the relevant sagacity to avoid such misdemeanours.
Scrimping On Connectivity
Depending on the size of your company, migrating your data to the cloud can prove to be quite a big job. Put simply, the more data you currently house in your own data centers, the more bandwidth you are going to require to move it all. Bandwidth costs money, and it may be tempting to try and go for the biggest bargain that you can find. But this will often prove to be a false economy, as moving large amounts of data over low bandwidth can take days, as opposed to literally minutes if you go for the larger, safer, though more expensive option.
Hopping On The First Cloud That Floats By
Some people think that all clouds are created equal, but this just simply isn’t the case. You will need to think about what you will require from your cloud service provider. For instance, if it’s scalability that you’re after, then not all private cloud service providers will necessarily be able to accommodate this, and so a public cloud might be the better option for you. Every cloud has its silver lining, though most of them have a few dark spots too, so do your homework and make sure that you choose the right one for your business before making the move.
Miscalculating Your Security Needs
Security is of utmost priority to any business. That almost goes without saying. And when you start to move your important and sensitive files around the web, then security is absolutely paramount.
All cloud service providers will detail what kind and what level of security they will offer with their packages, and so it is essential that you choose the right one. A large corporation will be a high-value target for attackers, and so it will make sense to opt for the cloud option that provides the highest level of security they can get their greasy little paws on. However, the SME, although their data is still sensitive, their smaller size will put them at a slightly reduced level of risk, and so forking out a fortune for encryption will not necessarily be the wisest business decision that you’ve ever made.
Miscalculating the Cash Flow
Cloud utilization is not always the cheapest option you have in front of you. In fact, if you are not careful when you do the numbers of your in-house operating expenses, then it might seem like migrating to the cloud is the cheapest option, when actually, if you take the long view, it might not be. Generally speaking, moving to the cloud is a decision that you will take to provide you with greater flexibility, and not necessarily savings.
Being Too Eager
Some companies are so keen to get up off the ground and float away on cloud 9, that they fail to take the last 4 points made on this list into serious consideration, and lots more besides.
It’s a big deal migrating to the cloud – and the more you want to move there, the bigger the deal gets. There will be cultural company impacts, cost issues, access issues, security and privacy considerations and applications to think of. All in all, it is a process that will require a lot of time and thought, so take it slowly and do it smartly.
By Igor Varnava