Cloud computing has become the norm for most companies. According to the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report, 82% of large companies have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy. Of the companies surveyed, a staggering 95% either run applications in the cloud or have begun using infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Today, companies that refuse to adopt the cloud are the outliers.
As popular as the cloud has become, all is not rosy in the world of cloud. Migrating to the cloud creates challenges. Any major change in a company’s IT infrastructure and practices can disrupt production and introduce risk, and moving to the cloud is no exception.
PEAK Resources, Inc. is a consulting and services-led systems integrator with
over 25 years of experience based in Denver, Colorado.
Here are 3 problems companies face when moving to the cloud and suggestions for ways to solve them:
Problem 1: Shadow IT
As companies adopt policies like bring your own device (BYOD), employees feel more confident about their ability to make technology decisions. Instead of waiting for the helpdesk to complete their requests, employees are purchasing their own public cloud solutions and software as a service (SaaS).
This results in shadow IT that creates risk and an extra financial burden for the business. A Cisco study found that companies had 15x more cloud services than IT leadership was aware of. These shadow IT cloud services can cost enterprises 4x to 8x more than services sanctioned by their main provider.
Solution 1: Encrypting Data and Strengthening Across Controls
IT leaders need to ensure that company and customer data is being protected when being processed through shadow IT. Sensitive data must be encrypted, both at rest and in transit. All applications need to be protected with multi-level authentication, including strong passwords.
To lessen the risks of shadow IT, IT leaders need to gain visibility into employee resources. The IT department should be aware of all the applications that are being used by employees across the business.
Problem 2: Security and Compliance
McAfee researchers found that 72% of companies list maintaining compliance as their top concern when using the cloud. While organizations have started feeling more confident about cloud security, they still worry that cloud providers won’t be familiar with the specific compliance regulations for their industry.
Compliance regulations are a big concern for organizations in the healthcare and finance industries. HIPAA regulations require that healthcare providers record each time personally identifiable information is accessed or transmitted. Sarbanes Oxley demands that auditable records be kept for major financial transactions. Making matters even more complicated, these compliance regulations are subject to change.
Solution 2: Using Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud provides the flexibility companies need to maintain their required level of security and compliance. With its combination of private and public cloud, hybrid cloud offers both on-premises security and archiving in the public cloud, for compliance purposes.
When entering into a service level agreement (SLA) with any cloud provider, a business should determine that the provider has experience maintaining compliance regulations for its industry.
Problem 3: Compatibility
Not all applications function well in the cloud. Before you move applications to the cloud, you need to test them to make sure they will run. If an application runs on a legacy operating system, it may not work in the cloud. Applications may also have bandwidth and performance requirements that exceed what the cloud can provide without tacking on a substantial price tag.
Solution 3: Swtiching to SaaS for Applications
If your mission-critical applications won’t run in the cloud, you may want to replace them with software as a service (SaaS). SaaS provides automatic updates and security for your applications. Options for ERP and CRM applications may be available, as well as tools for business collaboration.
If your company uses legacy or customized applications that aren’t available through SaaS, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) through the private cloud may be a more realistic option.
Jumping Cloud Adoption Hurdles
Adopting the cloud is a big decision, but you can clear the hurdles that stand in the way with the help of the right cloud provider. Assessing your cloud readiness is the first step. PEAK Resources can help you assess your business’s current infrastructure, application, and security requirements so you can choose the right cloud model and services.
For example, by partnering with PEAK Resources, you can handle the challenge of shadow IT by analyzing your entire system with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Consolidating subscriptions will ensure you have control over all your data and applications while saving money.
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Want to consolidate and better control shadow IT? Ask PEAK Resources for a complimentary assessment so your cloud can work more efficiently.