Cloud computing affords immense benefits to organizations of all sizes. For small and mid-sized businesses, cloud computing permits IT teams to function more efficiently. For large organizations, the cloud offers the ability to scale up or down to react quickly to shifting market conditions.
Companies of all sizes can leverage the cloud to increase innovation and collaboration. Still, many organizations are hesitant to fully leverage the benefits of the cloud, citing concerns regarding data loss and unauthorized access, and are hesitant to depend on cloud providers to solve these challenges.
Here are 8 risks to consider when evaluating cloud computing options:
Security continues to be the biggest cloud obstacle for many organizations. The cloud supplier’s security arrangements should be as strong as your organization’s data security needs. Cloud frameworks that store an organization’s information should be updated or patched on a routine basis. Vendors should likewise perform security vulnerability assessments or penetration tests frequently, which are carried out to guarantee that legitimate and physical security controls are in place. If feasible, the physical area of an organization’s data should be properly secured too. One approach to mitigate this risk is to study and inspect your supplier’s security arrangements, before signing a permanent agreement with them.
2. Cloud Compatibility
Another concern with the cloud is compatibility with all the IT frameworks in an organization. It is generally recognized today that cloud computing works out to be the most cost-effective choice for organizations. The organization might need to modify its existing IT platform to ensure compatibility with the cloud solution.
3. Compliance of the Cloud
Today most organizations have their data stored “off the cloud”, likely on various servers across multiple geographic locations. As a result, if there is an issue at a location, it may be problematic to assess and resolve the situation quickly. This concern might increase in relevance if the information is kept on a server in a different country. Organizations should discuss this issue with their suppliers prior to beginning any work or consideration of cloud solutions and vendors. The organization needs to be confident that the vendor can completely assure accessibility regardless of the circumstances.
4. Location of Data
The location of your organization’s information could pose a significant risk, particularly if the data will reside outside the jurisdiction of the company’s home country. This can happen if the cloud suppliers are permitted to move data to other locations without consultation. This can expose your data to other regulations that were unanticipated. Knowing where your data is stored is important and must be addressed as part of any cloud discussion.
Your cloud supplier should not have service guidelines that clash with your company’s operational necessities. Poor reliability on the part of your vendor may create issues during peak system activity times. As an example, the cloud supplier may encounter execution issues that restrict your staff from accessing information or systems. Verify you have the right administration guidelines in your agreement to avoid any unnecessary risk.
If your supplier goes out of business or is not able to continue to operate efficiently, your organization may not have the capacity to recover its information easily or without new/additional costs. As an example, a third party may acquire the supplier and this has the potential to impact access or control of your information as well as service pricing so it is important to address these possibilities within the contract that is being considered. Also, it is critical to ensure that the supplier has appropriate business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place.
7. Regulating Cloud Technology
Given the emerging nature of cloud computing suppliers and their associated offerings as well as the fact that suppliers are delivering a variety of platform options, it is critical that an organization conduct a ‘deep dive’ on how the supplier is providing the services to ensure it fits with their overall IT Strategy and Architecture.
8. Future Growth
One of the main reasons that companies move to the cloud is to ensure ease of scalability and increased capacity on short notice. As such, it is necessary when selecting a cloud supplier to ensure that they have proper options available and sufficient bandwidth and capacity to address your current and future needs.
In terms of assessing the risk of cloud computing one thing is clear: Organizations need to consider all their alternatives and understand the questions to ask so they are aware of the pros and cons of each provider and their offerings. While moving to the cloud does come with certain risks, an organization that conducts a proper due diligence will be much better positioned to manage/monitor its vendor and hopefully, mitigate the big risks.
The Litcom Approach
Moving to the cloud can be an ideal proposition for small, medium and large sized organizations. At Litcom, we conduct a thorough assessment of your IT environment to determine how much of it can be moved to the cloud and what may be better suited to remain in-house.
Litcom has professionals who are experienced in developing and aligning business and IT strategy. We can help your business understand the benefits offered by cloud computing and help you determine where the focus should be for your first project. Litcom professionals have real world experience integrating virtualized and cloud based solutions. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.