For many years now, the cloud has become an actively discussed topic in boardrooms around the world. Businesses are eager to capture the speed and scalability of cloud computing, while avoiding disruption from their more agile counterparts in the process. But despite its popularity, there still seems to be a lot of confusion around the true benefits and risks, involved in moving to the cloud.
Cloud computing promises to improve data security, data storage, collaboration, and flexibility – all the while decreasing costs and opening new opportunities for innovation. Over 90% of businesses have now adopted some form of cloud computing, but there is still a certain degree of hesitation when committing fully to a cloud-first strategy - why?
Let’s explore some of the most common concerns and ways to overcome these challenges to truly reap the benefits of cloud computing in the digital age.
What Business Leaders Still Want to Know About the Cloud
When storing data on cloud services, am I at a higher security risk? Do I have less control over privacy and confidentiality?
Security concerns remain the most common objection to cloud computing. Using a cloud-based system requires organizations to give secure and confidential data to providers of these services, but think of the alternative; what if something happens in your office? Storing your data with a cloud provider means you can access it regardless of what happens to the machine that was attacked. Or, if there’s a security breach, you can immediately wipe data from the cloud no matter where you are.
Cloud computing offers more security than local servers when managed correctly. You never have to worry about losing critical data or business applications because of natural disasters or computer malfunctions. Some cloud providers even back up to an additional remote server so data loss won’t happen. Cloud providers perform regular security audits often, more than you probably would on your local server, keeping your sensitive information airtight and under wraps.
Using a service like Microsoft Azure combined with a Managed Defense strategy offers a highly secure cloud foundation with multi-layered security to identify new threats and respond quickly with unique solutions informed by real-time global cybersecurity intelligence.
Will my organization have increased costs with cloud computing?
Using a cloud computing service does not automatically reduce your IT costs, but it does have long-term savings.
The upfront costs associated with the cloud allows for more flexibility within your budget to grow with your business needs. When adopting cloud services, reduced costs are not the only benefit. Some of the biggest benefits of cloud computing are adapting to evolving business needs, broader access, and stronger collaboration. Also, you typically only pay for the services you use, which provides convenience and cost-control that’s hard to achieve with on-site services. Seeing the true benefits behind cloud computing so your organization can boost productivity and find even more cost-saving advantages (see how Coverdell saved $1 million by moving to the cloud).
Won’t migrating my organization’s applications to the cloud be difficult?
While there’s no single cloud adoption process that works for every organization, the main implementation stages according to Microsoft Azure for all organizations and industries are to define your strategy, create a plan, prepare your organization and adopt the cloud. While this will require a decent amount of planning, the alternative to keeping your applications on-premises can hurt your organization by slowing down operations, increasing costs of supporting outdated applications, and putting your data and people at risk for security breaches and compliance violations. Despite the complexities involved in the initial migration, moving a new or existing application to a cloud service can, and should, be done, but it will require a guided process.
There is more regulatory compliance with cloud computing?
In all industries, organizations are facing new compliant with industry regulations and laws that are making it harder to ensure these standards are respected and carried out. Organizations must research cloud vendors to check if they are regulated in the standards they require. Most vendors offer certified compliance guides, such as Microsoft Azure who offers management tools and implementation and guidance resources to streamline and simplify your compliance needs, but in some cases, more is required. So, it's not that there are more compliance considerations in the cloud, it is finding the right provider for your business needs.
When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, you’ll find that there aren’t too many risks. Cloud computing is the way of the future, allowing you to conduct business from anywhere with an Internet connection.