All over the world, business owners are asking themselves what the cloud means for them and their future success. While there’s no doubting the benefits of migrating your IT operations to the cloud, it does require careful planning.
A poorly executed approach can leave your business open to unnecessary red tape, security breaches, and even legal action for failing to comply with industry regulations. On the other hand, having a robust strategy in place; and avoiding the common mistakes will help ensure that your cloud implementation benefits your organisation. Listed below are the top 10 cloud mistakes that can hamper an organisation’s success.
#1. Overlooking Compliance
A lot of business leaders assume that their data is automatically protected as per industry regulations just because their cloud provider meets the necessary compliance standards. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. In most cases, it will still be your responsibility to ensure that your data is encrypted, and that your staff are adequately trained in the best security practices.
#2. Neglecting Network Connectivity
A key motivation for migrating to the cloud is to reduce your dependency on in-house hardware and the expertise needed to maintain it. However, having a reliable, high-speed internet connection is also vital. As such, your internet connection should be your top priority, and you should never sacrifice performance for price. Instead, opt for the fastest and most reliable enterprise-grade connection available. You’ll need as much bandwidth as possible to ensure a great cloud experience.
#3. Not Thinking About Total Cost of Ownership
When you migrate to the cloud, you’ll effectively be renting your IT resources instead of having to buy everything up front. The greatly reduced up-front cost is one of the core benefits of cloud computing; but it’s important to remember that pricing structures can sometimes be deceptive. Fortunately, any reputable vendor should provide complete visibility into all costs involved. In many cases, an optimal pricing structure is one that allows you to scale up or down as demand requires.
#4. Failing to Regularly Evaluate Your Service Provider
Cloud providers used to be few and far in between, but now they seem to be popping up everywhere. While this is great for organisations looking for a specialised provider that has deep industry knowledge; it’s difficult to navigate the increasingly competitive cloud market. That’s why you should regularly evaluate your current service provider to ensure that they’re living up to your expectations. If they’re not, it’s probably time for a change.
#5. Getting Trapped by Vendor Lock-in
When choosing a cloud provider; you’ll certainly want to be thinking about the longer term, but that doesn’t mean you should end up being stuck with a provider that isn’t doing their job perfectly. There are many reasons you could end up getting trapped with a vendor you’re unsatisfied with, such as contractual obligations or a lack of any clearly defined migration path. Sure, you’ll want to choose a provider with the longer term in mind, but that doesn’t mean you should have to tolerate a bad lock-in.
#6. Not Resolving Compatibility Issues
Since distributed computing environments have become the new norm in the world of enterprise IT, standardisation is becoming more commonplace. For example, the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) standardises provisioning, administration and access to cloud storage resources. Nonetheless, compatibility issues remain a major problem when migrating from proprietary or legacy applications. You’ll want to make sure that your provider can help you overcome these compatibility problems without causing too much disruption to your organisation.
#7. Migrating Everything to the Cloud
The cloud provides a platform that companies can use to enable growth and enjoy the latest technology. Although most workloads are just fine being outsourced, there are still some that don’t work well in a distributed computing environment. These may include some specialised or hardware-intensive workloads and many legacy applications that just aren’t cloud-ready.
#8. Not Implementing a Data Governance Strategy
Implementing a cloud-based computing infrastructure is incredibly quick and easy when compared with building your own on-premises data centre. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should go ahead without a robust data governance strategy in place. After all, it’s just as easy to lose sight of critical compliance regulations and security issues. To ensure that your confidential data remains in your hands; every cloud migration should be governed by a strict security and data governance policy.
#9. Not Planning for Disaster Recovery
Many business leaders have no clear understanding of exactly where their data resides when they upload it to the cloud. At the same time, they often assume that just because it’s stored in an off-site data centre, it must be impervious to loss. However, just because you’re migrating to the cloud doesn’t mean you can afford to lose sight of backup and disaster recovery. In fact, business continuity planning should be at the forefront of any cloud migration strategy, and this is something that your vendor should also be able to help you with.
#10. Thinking Security Is No Longer Your Problem
Most cloud services offer excellent security; of a level that simply can’t be matched by an on-premises data centre assembled within the limited budgetary constraints of a typical SMB. However, while vendors have access to the best technology money can buy, that doesn’t mean security is no longer your concern. Not only can the failure to properly implement cloud services lead to gaps in security – the responsibility to use your resources as per your security policies still falls to your employees. That’s why ongoing security awareness training is always important, regardless of your reliance on the cloud.
Empower IT helps organisations alleviate their cloud migration woes by providing full planning for IT projects to ensure a hassle-free migration. If you’re ready to usher in a new era of technological innovation, talk with one of our experts today.