Posted by Paul Anderson
Challenges of implementing cloud computing
Cloud computing has evolved greatly over the years. Since the term came into existence in early 90s it was developed and being worked upon to make it a plausible solution for business data storage and accessibility issues. Large enterprises are increasingly finding cloud a likable solution even within their stringent organizational policies. And, for small enterprises it is possibly the only option to save fund while putting innovative ideas into action.
The idea of cloud has been such popularized that there is a rush of implementing virtualization amongst CIOs. This has lead to more complexities than solutions. The issues with cloud implementation are mostly due to the haste without proper analysis of one’s situations and requirements beforehand. Following is a brief discussion on the challenges faced by organizations during implementing cloud computing.
Objections: If you are a CIO you are likely to face challenges in convincing the management regarding the usefulness of transiting from your on-premise set-up to cloud. To propose your case more powerfully you therefore should analyze your cloud requirements with precision. Focus on the areas like cost cutting, elasticity, scalability, expandability, data security, damage recovery etc.
Selecting cloud set-up: There are three types of cloud available – private, public and hybrid. The secret of successful cloud implementation lies in choosing the most appropriate cloud set-up. When bigger companies feel safer with their vast data in private cloud environment; small enterprises may benefit economically by hosting their services in public cloud. Some companies are also preferring the middle way i.e. hybrid cloud as a balanced approach.
Availability of cloud services in forms of as-a-service (aaS) namely – infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) has further complicated the decision making process for the CIOs.
Receiving guidance: While implementing cloud you need to adhere to both the governmental and internal regulations. The existing governmental policies may prove flawed and insufficient since cloud governance is still taking shape while internal policies may prove too stringent and inflexible. Hence, you may need external and professional help in implementing cloud set-up properly. Choose a cloud computing consulting servicewhich is aware of the terms and conditions regarding cloud implementation and data security across borders.
Dealing with vendor: One of the major issues with cloud computing is its dependency on the service provider. For uninterrupted and fast services you need to choose a vendor with proper infrastructural and technical expertise. You need a vendor who can meet the security standards set both by the government agencies and your internal policies. Read their service-level agreement (SLA) carefully to learn more about what’s in offering, compensations in case of outage, lock-in clauses etc.
Data security: Often the major concern associated with cloud computing is data security and manageability. It becomes a more serious issue while you involve multiple vendors. Since you would be running your company’s assets and data from a third-party interface ensuring data security and privacy are of utmost importance. Hence, while engaging a cloud service provider always inquire about their cloud based security policies upfront. You’d also need to ensure that they have effective data backup plans to salvage data if a disaster strikes. However, cloud computing companies usually employ strict data security policies to prevent hacking and invest heavily on improved software and hardware. Moreover, some of the issues regarding data security can be mitigated by employing a hybrid cloud environment.
Disaster recovery: A cloud provider must have a resilient infrastructure to deal with server breakdown and outage. A proper data backup policy should have been in place to deal with it. Quite naturally most cloud computing service providers prefer to set up their servers at politically and economically stable locations to avoid data loss issues due to unrests.
Data portability: Even when you are in cloud you would still like to have control over your data and hence, ensuring data portability is essential. Often clients complain about being locked in with service providers and not being able to switch freely. Issues regarding data portability can seriously jeopardize your smooth transition to cloud.
Another issue can be with making the transition from on-premise set up to the virtual one. Issues you may also face regarding moving virtual machines, data migration and network configuration. Planning ahead can help avoiding most of these problems with cloud configuration.