Cloud computing has become an intrinsic tool in modern business – so much so that many companies are starting to take it for granted. This is usually the natural progression of new technology, and it only becomes a problem when this relaxed attitude leads to some common and very detrimental mistakes. These mistakes can easily harm a business, even though most of them could have been avoided with a little added preparation.
If a company does not understand exactly what can or cannot be done with a cloud solution, it can lead to a poorly optimized strategy and inefficient processes. When a company decides to implement cloud tools it can increase capacity and agility while lowering the overall costs, which makes it an appealing option – but it also means companies need to understand the ins and outs of the solution to take advantage of all its features and avoid these disabling mistakes.
Unauthorized Installs and Usage
A lot of the current cloud mistakes are not malicious in nature. In fact, many times, the people responsible don’t even realize that their actions could lead to some kind of problem. When business units start using cloud computing or VDI to take advantage of new tech services – but they do it without the IT department’s knowledge – it can lead to issues with security, fault tolerance, and overall performance. It can create new conflicts with existing systems and put critical data at risk if there isn’t enough oversight on the new system or process.
The cloud is a simple alternative for many companies, but if non-IT employees install new programs without taking the necessary security steps it could lead to breaches of confidential information, website tampering, and much more.
The most effective way to deal with these issues is to develop a company-wide policy and make sure that the entire company knows it and understands its importance. A strong cloud governance policy will help manage resource, eliminate rogue installs, and make sure no one is using things outside the IT department’s control.
Dwelling On Short Term Goals
Many companies see what cloud applications can do for their business right now and leap onto the bandwagon without really understanding what it could mean in the long term. A company might decide that a single service (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, etc.) is exactly what it needs right now and end up artificially limiting future development. Isolated strategies often lead to missed opportunities, which is a mistake that few can afford. Look at the big picture and create long-term goals for cloud implementation.
Failing to Implement Firewall Precautions
Many companies fail to understand how important a front-line defense really is when it comes to cloud computing. Whether you’re dealing with a few servers or a few hundred, security should be one of the top concerns, which means implementing a strong, reliable defense with a cloud server firewall. You can’t just assume that the cloud provider will take care of all the security for you. Some of the problems can only be handled in-house.
To maximize the cloud security, it’s important to set rules and enforce an authorization policy. You shouldn’t allow every administrator to access and configure security groups. At the same time, it’s also important to keep the rules simple. The more complex it gets, or the more exceptions are made, the more likely it will cause a lot of problems.
Failing to Understand the Total Costs
Before adopting cloud applications, a company should perform a complete cost-benefit analysis so it won’t over- or underestimate the real value of making the switch. The cloud offers simplicity and cost savings, but making the change requires work, financial investment, and a willingness to try something different. Companies will have to change policies and processes, and this is an ongoing process that may lead to modifying cost structures as it grows.
The cloud is a great option in many situations, but if it isn’t leveraged properly it can end up being a drain on the company, just like any other tool or service that is used incorrectly. Take the time to build out cost models and determine exactly how much value the new process can provide, and only then make the switch to the cloud.
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