The cloud is used quite often in the business world, but different organizations use it in different ways. Some might use it to support a remote workforce, whereas others might use it to get around the up-front capital expenses of purchasing software licenses through the use of “as a service” offerings. Regardless, the cloud is capable of solving countless problems for the modern business, but only when it is implemented in a calculated and intentional way.
To make sure that you are using the cloud in the correct way, consider the following pitfalls associated with over-relying on cloud solutions.
Many people sign up for cloud services in their personal lives whether they realize it or not, even if they are only going to use it for a short time. The issue with this is that people ultimately wind up having far too many cloud service accounts, creating accounts for specific purposes or one-time uses. Cloud services often automatically renew, so what happens when you have so many cloud-based accounts that you can’t keep them straight? The writing is on the wall here; you wind up spending a ton on services that are either underutilized or completely unused.
Cloud service providers tend to lean into the fact that their services are cost-effective, but if a business depends on a specific cloud service, they will probably overpay for it. Even if they have the ability to scale according to how much they use it, they will tend to err on the side of caution and pay for services that they see little-to-no value from.
Businesses that choose not to go the software-as-a-service route and instead opt for an in-house cloud infrastructure also struggle with management, as they often fail to accurately predict the costs of their hosting computing resources. Most businesses rely on a baseline cost for their technology, so not accounting for this budget or inadequately accounting for unexpected cloud costs can negatively impact their bottom line. Small businesses are more affected by these hiccups in the budgeting process, as they tend to have fewer resources available than larger enterprises.
There can be no doubt that security is one of the most important parts of any new technology solution, and the cloud is no exception. Security in particular can be troublesome for the cloud, as businesses are often allowing other organizations to host their data in places that they do not necessarily have control over--data that can be sensitive or private in nature. The cloud is just as vulnerable to hackers as other computing methods, and issues like data breaches, compromised authentication, hacked interfaces, account hijacking, and more can all affect it. If you are unsure if you can trust your cloud provider, take the following into consideration:
Spending money on a cloud solution that is underperforming is simply wasteful. Downtime is something that all web-based services experience sooner or later, so your business needs to be prepared for how it will keep operations moving in the event that the cloud solution becomes unavailable at any given moment. Ideally, your cloud provider should be fairly reliable, but it’s not always so simple.
Look at the many recent examples of cloud providers experiencing outages over the past several years and you will see that downtime is a very real threat that you must prepare for. If issues do arise, how quickly can your cloud provider get their services back up and running? Does your cloud provider notify you in the event of a downtime incident? Remember that downtime can be a business killer in large enough quantities, so be sure to do your research and consider all possibilities before committing to a cloud service provider in this way.
KB Technologies Managed IT can help you make these kinds of difficult decisions and act as a guide for implementing any new cloud solutions. To learn more about what we can do for your business, give us a call at (954) 834-2800.
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