Cloud solutions have become more mainstream in recent years, but cloud computing remains a difficult topic to fully understand. That’s not surprising. Moving business operations into the cloud is a big undertaking, and it’s not uncommon to have questions.
The cloud can provide many possibilities for helping businesses to move forward, including everything from data storage and disaster recovery to internet of things and artificial intelligence. It’s easy to make mistakes along the cloud journey, but a good place to start is understanding the many myths that could affect decision-making processes.
Businesses should not let these five common misconceptions stand in the way of their ability to realize the benefits that come with cloud transformation.
Migrating to the cloud is going to cost money. That’s unavoidable. Many companies overspend when they first implement cloud technology because they have not taken the time to create a detailed plan that analyzes the benefits of updating antiquated systems and infrastructure. Or they haven’t analyzed the hidden costs and vulnerabilities that come with continuing to use on-premises servers.
The goal of embracing cloud technology is to modernize and automate processes currently running on-site to simplify infrastructure. To accomplish that, companies need a strategically staged approach that provides a wise initial investment and will help save money in the long run for both the IT team and the rest of the organization. A proper migration road map that clearly assesses the total cost of moving to the cloud and identifies short- and long-term strategic goals can help businesses avoid spending more money than necessary.
Cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure™ and Amazon Web Services (AWS) aren’t going to automatically take over all IT responsibilities. Instead, businesses will need to share ownership by ensuring that the cloud provider’s tools have been configured correctly. Cloud providers offer granular controls, but if organizations don’t manage the controls properly, they will be opening themselves up to risk.
For example, if a company wants to establish a multifactor authentication solution, then it’s the company’s responsibility to make sure the solution is properly set up. If the implementation of two-step authentication is left up to the providers, it might not meet the business’s specific needs and might expose it to security risks.
This perception isn’t as prevalent as it once was, but a lot of confusion still exists about the proper way to handle cloud security to prevent cybersecurity attacks and data breaches. According to a 2020 survey performed by International Data Corp.,1 the primary cause of cloud data breaches is misconfiguration as a result of granting too many permissions and human error. In other words, leaders need to establish the right security procedures to protect the business. An advantage of moving to the cloud is the opportunity to dictate security protocols at every layer of the organization.
In the past, the IT mindset would focus on perimeter security to prevent attackers from getting into networks. With an increasingly mobile and global workforce today, it’s much more efficient and agile to manage security at a granular level throughout the company.
A business does not need to eliminate or reduce IT staff just because it moves operations into the cloud. Once a cloud platform has a chance to automate and modernize legacy systems and infrastructure, employees will be empowered to think about their jobs in a more strategic manner rather than spending all their time maintaining day-to-day operations. The IT team also can use tools that are available only in the cloud, allowing access to new analytics and information.
For example, a database administrator might struggle with backing up and indexing data. Moving those tasks to the cloud will free up the administrator’s time to learn new skills and use new tools to focus on bigger projects such as improving the company’s products, services, or processes.
Moving to the cloud is not a binary decision. One size does not fit all when it comes to a business’s unique needs. The cloud is incredibly flexible. Scalable hybrid models of cloud transformation will allow organizations to see immediate benefits even as they continue to adapt and migrate remaining operations over time. Thanks to this iterative process, an organization can repurpose its budget to be more strategic without a large capital expenditure.
Instead of trying to figure out a way to move everything into the cloud with one big project, leaders can build out a scalable road map that allows staged upgrades that can be strategically implemented at any pace. Organizations can enjoy the flexibility and agility to adjust to changes in the business and cloud technology.
1 “The Risk of Excessive Cloud Access Permissions,” International Data Corp., June 4, 2020, https://ermetic.com/resources/infographics/idc-infographic-excessive-cloud-access-permissions
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