Cloud computing is considered the driving force of modern IT, and for good reason. Considering how reliable, scalable, robust and cost-effective it is, it comes as no surprise that the cloud has completely changed the way companies operate.
Take the benchmark Flexera State of the Cloud Report, published in April, as an example. A full 93% of enterprise respondents said they had a multi-cloud strategy, with more than half of companies describing their cloud usage as advanced.
Yet the study also found that organisations believed they were over budget for cloud spend by an average of 23%, with spend just behind security as the biggest challenge with adoption.
The form in which the technology is portrayed and advertised differs depending on the provider. As a result, the truth about the cloud – how it works, how much it costs, what its real benefits are – is often lost in translation.
By forgetting to cancel free trials, overestimating their needs, or keeping unused cloud resources up and running for days, many companies find themselves in a distressing situation where costs are much higher than they expected. This is particularly prevalent amid the Covid-19 pandemic; as companies move to working from home, more cloud resources and virtual machines need to be spun up in order to get the work done. But is the management of this being catered for?
For cloud providers, their responsibility is generally security ‘of’ the cloud – the underlying infrastructure – while the customer is responsible for security ‘in’ the cloud, such as data and applications (Cloud Provider: https://www.comarch.com/trade-and-services/ict/infraspace-cloud/) . This differs dependent on whether you are adopting a software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) model. Yet while this message has remained unchanged for years, many companies are still missing it.
This is particularly unfortunate as many move to the cloud by only having a vague idea of what to expect. Bear in mind too that cloud adoption is not merely a technological challenge – it is also a business challenge. For a company’s employees, education is vital, for instance, to ensure an understanding of the security risks and costs associated with adoption and migration. This is why cloud cost management providers, as well as companies such as cloud access security brokers (CASBs), play such an important role as a middleman between the end user and the cloud provider.
This is by no means the only element concerning the cloud that companies should be aware of before migration either. Establishing SLAs, measuring storage transactions, and building cloud-native applications are just three. Not to mention the question of who is managing their cloud environment in the first place.
No two clouds are the same, just as there are no two identical technology providers – an important point to note given how many companies are using multi-cloud, many for performance benefits of different workloads. Any difference can be critical to the company’s growth.
The promise of predictability and scalability, combined with low latency and, is an irresistible one as so many companies are moving to the cloud. But remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. You need to choose your technological partner very carefully. It is worth taking the time to check whether a given cloud-driven solution meets all of your company’s needs and expectations. If not, then various problems will come up as you go down the road.
Editor’s note: Comarch has prepared a brand new whitepaper, entitled ‘Things You Don’t Hear About The Cloud’, which covers the performance, common mistakes, and real benefits of the cloud. If you consider migrating your IT infrastructure, this is a must-read. Download it for free here.