Technological has changed the way businesses around the world work, with fresh innovations solving long-running issues and introducing new and more optimised systems.
One such innovation is cloud technology, which Dzone reports has been adopted by 88% of businesses here in the UK — and for good reason. Cloud computing’s invaluable benefits include less spending on in-house data storage units, as well as data mobility, availability, and security. Information Age notes that it even lessens a company’s carbon footprint while encouraging collaboration and helping ensure work-life balance.
However, despite the competitive edge that the cloud provides, some businesses are still hesitant to migrate their data. Here are some of the challenges that remain for cloud adoption:
Attachment to Legacy Systems
Among business leaders still reluctant to move operations to the cloud, the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality may play a part. Because their company is currently doing fine without the technology, they see no reason to go through the hassle of upgrading their legacy systems.
To be fair, cloud computing would require major modifications and upgrades to existing applications in order to operate properly, and some businesses don’t want the hassle — until, of course, it is too late.
Upfront and maintenance costs
Cloud migration is not cheap, and a lot of companies opt out of it for this reason. However, the long-term benefits of cloud computing far outweigh the short-term losses incurred.
Aside from making sure operations run smoothly, cloud computing can help point out crucial blind spots in business operations. Verizon Connect’s Simon Austin explains how cloud computing can uncover out-dated and overpriced manual practices as it becomes easier to track employee and data movement around the company. For instance, you’d be able to see if company vehicles were being used after hours, and you’d have access to workers’ digital time stamps at the press of a button.
In addition, it’s important to note that there is a myriad of payment schemes and strategies available from different vendors. Chief Cloud Strategy Officer David Linthicum recommends moving just 20-40% of your workload at the start of the migration process, and then gradually moving the rest after. A certain level of commitment and regular migration are needed to ensure ROI, so that a company will eventually fully benefit from the service.
Control and security issues
Organisations that remain on the fence about cloud technology are often concerned about losing control. Having a third party manage data is an uncomfortable thought for IT teams who have gotten used to managing everything themselves. It is difficult to foster trust with people you don’t know and systems you aren’t familiar with — businesses fear that the third party’s drivers and networks may fail unexpectedly, damaging vital information.
Despite these fears, cloud computing is actually much safer, as Nexcess’ Graeme Caldwell explains that duplication across multiple servers ensure that there’s little to no chance of lost data or prolonged downtime. This can be especially crucial for e-commerce businesses or those offering services, which rely on 24/7 availability. It just takes a little more research about cloud computing services to build trust, as these can greatly help ease the load of in-house IT teams.
Privacy and data protection concerns
Because of how cloud computing works, it may seem to business owners that their data is up in the air and easy to grab. This concern may push companies to keep data on-site instead of with a third party.
Again, in this case, it’s important to remember that cloud service vendors are accountable for data protection, and thus have security protocols in place. These are also likely more advanced than a company’s local protection can provide, and are immune to physical disasters and permanent data loss. Although there’s no guarantee of 100% protection against data breaches, the same can be said about in-house computing systems, and your data is likely safer among a well-equipped third party.
As with any kind of technology, improvements still have to be made to address concerns and challenges that come with cloud computing. However, where it currently stands, adopting the tech is still more advantageous than missing out and risking obsolescence. There is no doubt that cloud migration will remain a top priority in major industries for businesses who want to stay ahead of the curve.
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By A. White