Cloud Computing has evolved greatly over the years – since it came into existence in the early 90s. Cloud computing has already started to revolutionize the way we store and access data. We currently see smartphone applications use cloud computing technologies to allow users to store and access date that they previously could not do on a smart device.
Cloud computing is slowly gaining acceptance within businesses. It is predicted that by 2018,
59% of cloud workload will be generated from Software-as-a- Service (SaaS). According to a recent survey, 43% of IT decision makers are planning to invest more into cloud computing.
Cloud’s popularity has grown immensely, as more and more recognize its benefits of improving data access, freeing up IT resources for more strategic tasks, cutting and increasing flexibility and efficiency. The usage of cloud services has become closely associated with common cloud offerings, such as Software as a service (SaaS), Platform as service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
While cloud solutions have been the answer for many, some are still hesitant to utilize this new technology. While there are advantages and disadvantages associated with most business models, it is up to the business owner and the nature of the company’s daily transactions that dictate whether the system is right for their industry. Here are the key challenges that should be addressed to clearly demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative to traditional, on-premises applications and data-center operations. Read below to explore some of the challenges and concerns.
1. Privacy and Security
Cloud architecture do not automatically grant security compliance for the end-user data or apps on them, so apps written for cloud have to be secure in their own terms. Some of the responsibility for this does fall to cloud vendors, but the lion’s share of it is still in the lap of the application designers. Cloud computing introduces another level of risks because essential services are often outsourced to a third party, making it harder to maintain data integrity and privacy.
2. Client incomprehension
We have probably passed the days when people thought cloud were just big server clusters, but that doesn’t mean that we can ignore the fact about cloud moving forward. There are also too many misunderstandings about how public and private cloud work together, misunderstandings about how easy it is to move from one kind of infrastructure to another. A good way to combat this is to prevent customers with real-world examples of what is possible and why so that they can base their understanding on the actual working.
3. Data Security
One of the major concerns associated with cloud computing is its dependency on the cloud service provider. For uninterrupted and fast cloud service you need to choose a vendor with proper infrastructure and technical expertise. Since you would be running your company’s asset and data from a third party interface ensuring data security and privacy are of utmost importance. Hence, when engaging a cloud service provider, always inquire about their cloud-based security policies. However, cloud service companies usually employ strict data security policies to prevent hacking and invest heavily in improved infrastructure and software.
4. Address growing integration complexities
Many applications have complex integration needs to connect to applications on the cloud network, as well as to other on-premises applications. These include integrating existing cloud services with existing enterprise applications and data structures. There is need to connect the cloud application with the rest of the enterprise in a simple, quick and cost-effective way. Integrating new applications with existing ones is a significant part of the process and cloud services bring even more challenges from an integration perspective.
5. Reliability and availability
Cloud service providers still lack the round-the-clock service, this result in frequent outages. It is important to monitor the service being provided using internal or third-party tools. It is vital to have plans to supervise usage, performance and business dependency of these cloud services.
6. Performance and Bandwidth Cost
Businesses can save money on hardware but they have to spend more for the bandwidth. This could be a low cost for small applications but can be significantly high for the data-intensive applications. Delivering intensive and complex data over the network requires sufficient bandwidth. Because of this many enterprises are waiting for a reduced cost, before switching to the cloud services.
7. Selecting the right cloud set-up
There are three types of cloud environments available – private, public and hybrid. The secret of successful cloud implementation lies in choosing the most appropriate cloud set-up. Big companies feel safer with their vast data in private cloud environment, small enterprises often benefit economically by hosting their services in public cloud. Some companies also prefer the hybrid cloud because it is flexible, cost-effective and offers a mix of public and private cloud services.
8. Dependency on Service Providers
One of the major issues with cloud computing is its dependency on the service provider. The companies providing cloud services charge businesses for utilizing cloud computing services based on usage. Customers typically subscribe to cloud services to avail their services. For uninterrupted and fast services one needs to choose a vendor with proper infrastructure and technical expertise. You need a vendor who can meet the necessary standards. The service-level agreement should be read carefully and understood in details in case of outage, lock-in-clauses etc. Cloud service is any service made available to businesses or corporates from a cloud computing provider’s server. In other words, cloud services are professional services that support organizations in selecting, deploying and management various cloud-based resources.
9. Seeing beyond the challenges
These challenges should not be considered as roadblocks in the pursuit of cloud computing. It is rather important to give serious considerations to these issues and the possible ways out before adopting the technology. Cloud computing are rapidly gaining enterprise adoption, yet many IT professionals still remain skeptical, for good reason. Issues like security and standards continue to challenge this emerging technology. Strong technical skills will be essential to address the security and integration issues in the long run. There are also issues faced while making transitions from the on-premise set-up to the cloud services like data migration issues and network configuration issues. But planning ahead can avoid most of these problems with cloud configurations. The extent of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud services vary from business to business, so it is important for any business to weigh these up when considering their move into cloud computing.
Cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet’s evolution, providing the means through which everything – from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications to business processes – can be delivered as a cloud service wherever you need. Cloud Computing promises substantial benefits for small, medium and large organizations. Some say cloud computing is still struggling in its infancy, with positive and negative comments made on its possible implementation for a large-sized enterprise. On the other hand, enterprises are under great pressure to take advantage of cloud services, but they need to fully understand the challenges cloud computing brings. Switching to cloud services offers tremendous benefits to the organization and its users. It is important that companies select a provider that will help support the transition and counterbalance the challenges. However like any major concept, it always starts off slowly, but once organizations realize the advantages of cloud services, it will pick up pace rapidly. Despite these challenges, companies are increasingly aware of the business values that cloud computing bring and are taking steps towards the transition to the Cloud.
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