Driven by their need to save costs and be more productive, enterprises around the world now prefer to move their data to the cloud. A report by irms360 shows that today, out of 10 enterprises, nine of them use one or more cloud applications. Unsurprisingly, 84% of companies’ CIOs do report a cut in app costs after adopting cloud storage.
For the mobile app development company IT Chimes, the other reason enterprises prefer cloud storage is because it has scalable bandwidth which can support the huge volumes of apps and digital content. While cloud storage comes with its benefits, it has a fare share of challenges that enterprises have to grapple with.
Top four enterprise cloud management challenges and their solutions
Security and privacy
One of the greatest challenges that organizations face when it comes to cloud computing is the way cloud storage addresses privacy and security concerns of the enterprise. The fact that valuable information will be kept outside of the company’s firewall can raise security concerns. Security issues in cloud computing manifest in different ways.
Cyber attacks like hacking into the cloud infrastructure can affect many of the company’s clients even if it’s just one website that was attacked. Hackers can go on to misuse the clients’ data and that of the company. The implications can be far reaching to the enterprise management as it could border on their inability to keep their customers’ information confidential.
Data breaching refers to the illegal or unauthorized access, viewing or retrieval of company information by an app, individual or service. The intention is to steal data or publish it to an illegal or unsecured location.
A report shows organizations that use cloud storage are three times more likely to experience data breaching than those that don’t. And cloud computing has unique features that make it more susceptible.
Attackers can embed code or scripts into the cloud services as part of the service or app that runs within the cloud’s servers. Once they execute the malware and it starts to run with the cloud, they can eavesdrop, steal data and compromise the security of the organization’s sensitive information.
An attack from within the organization seems unlikely but it does exist. Using their authorized access to the company’s cloud based data, employees can access or misuse information such as financial forms, customer accounts and other sensitive data.
Data stored to the cloud can be lost via natural disasters, malicious attacks, data wipe by a service provider and so on. When an enterprise loses data, but lacks a recovery plan, the consequences can be dire. Amazon is one example of a company that encountered data loss when they destroyed their customers’ data back in 2011. Also, Google lost massive data when lightning struck its power grid four times.
Dealing with the challenge
The best way to mitigate these security risks is to use security apps, data loss software, encrypted file systems and investing in security hardware that will track unusual behavior across cloud servers.
Increased operation and bandwidth cost
Organizations can save money when purchasing hardware, but not on bandwidth. Switching to bandwidth means spending more. Well, it could cost smaller apps less but for large enterprises with massive data, it can be costly. This is because delivering complex and intensive data across a network requires adequate bandwidth. As a result, many organizations wait for a drop in the cost before they switch to cloud use.
When migrating to cloud, some of the costs incurred include training of the staff, capital expenditure for fiber, and deployment of extra equipment that typically result in more network complexity.
Dealing with the challenge
Organizations should assess different cloud services and compare the features and costs then settle for one with the best bandwidth, quality services and affordable cost. Most providers provide monthly, quarterly and annual payment options and offer discounted prices for annual plans. Companies can take advantage of this plan.
Not all cloud providers offer round-the-clock services. Consequently, organizations suffer frequent downtimes. Such outages can be a disaster to companies; they can cause significant revenue loss, increased disruption to company operations and adverse impact on customer loyalty.
The average downtime costs do vary from one industry to another. For example, in the media sector it is about $90,000 per hour while for large-scale online brokerages, it is approximately $6.48 million per hour.
Dealing with the challenge
- Sign a SL: when dealing with cloud storage services, you should consider signing a service level agreement. This will guarantee a certain level of service availability from the provider. If the service guarantees 99.5 percent uptime, that means there is a downtime of 1.83 days a year, and if they suggest scheduled maintenance of one hour a month, you should know of it as well. It will help you to plan accordingly and avoid serious business disruptions or losses.
- Utilize on-premise solutions: organizational services that have in-house skills attached to them, like, say bespoke apps and may require on-premise solutions rather than external services. While cloud is a popular trend now, it may be wise to keep some things within the walls of the organization in a bid to avert the inconveniences associated with cloud’s downtime.
- Plan for downtime: if the service provider alerts you in advance when the service is likely to be down, it’s an opportunity to plan for the failure. You may, for example, want to retrieve important information stored to the cloud and store it elsewhere for later use when the cloud service is down.
- Quantify the downtime cost: try to analyze how much cloud services downtime costs the organization. It will give useful leverage when considering further investment into IT provisioning and business infrastructure.
- Remove complexity: while it may sound counterproductive, removing complexity in the case of networking enhances a faster, efficient and effective response to any downtime. Although planning for failure may involve adding redundancy as well as failover procedures, which end up increasing complexity, simplifying is also important as it enables one to easily view the issues that cause downtime.
Managing resources across clouds
At times you may have different resources, operations and workloads on different clouds and you want to manage them from the same place. This can be hard to achieve.
To deal with this challenge, you need to get a solution from a mobile app development company like IT Chimes that creates a common operating environment and one that provides the tools to help you see, automate and manage everything.
Although these challenges exist, they should not be hinder businesses from adopting cloud computing. Most importantly, businesses ought to give serious a thought to these issues and their possible solutions before they adopt cloud technology.
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