According to Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud Report, 93 percent of organizations are in the cloud — using a mix of public and private cloud services to increase productivity, flexibility, and cost savings. Because of the COVID-19 quarantines, many companies have allowed their staff to work from home. However, a remote work policy is easier to pull off if a company’s resources are stored in the cloud.
This is not to say that moving to the cloud is a guarantee for success. Many organizations can still commit cloud-related blunders that, if not corrected, could result in financial losses, greater security risks, and compliance failures. Make sure you are not making these mistakes when transitioning to the cloud:
Mistake #1: Not allocating enough bandwidth
Nothing can ruin your organization’s experience of the cloud like sluggish internet performance. And so it’s crucial to allocate adequate bandwidth for cloud services and factor in spikes in the number of users.
While latency, or the delay in sending information, may not affect the performance of some cloud services such as email, it can affect other applications, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It is even more crucial when a slight delay can mean a world of difference — think cloud-based applications for trading stocks.
When moving applications and data to the cloud, it is ideal to properly communicate your bandwidth latency needs for your business applications with a cloud service provider.
Mistake #2: Not planning for applications
Migrating all applications to the cloud right away is a common mistake. Enterprises should first conduct a detailed analysis of applications and data. This will reveal which applications are viable candidates for the cloud and which are not.
Some of them may be better left as is or on-premises for a number of reasons, including cost-savings, efficiency, and user experience. Some may be too complex for the cloud and may require expensive re-coding. Others may be running on outdated or legacy systems, making them unsuitable for the cloud’s more modern architecture or incompatible with other cloud-hosted applications
It is highly recommended to dip one’s feet into the cloud rather than dive in headfirst. Migrate applications carefully and gradually onto the cloud, and start with applications that have minimal impact or are not very critical to operations.
Mistake #3: Not carefully evaluating the service level agreement (SLA)
An SLA is an agreement between a cloud provider and its client that contains expectations for service, including roles and responsibilities, service and deployment model differences, security and privacy requirements, disaster recovery plans, and the exit process. As such, you need to carefully examine this document so you don’t get stuck with the raw end of a deal, such as hidden fees and overlooked commitments.
Find out if the SLA makes it difficult for you to get out of unsatisfactory service. Check if the agreement includes any vendor lock-in costs. A vendor lock-in often involves proprietary cloud solutions that will make it impossible for you to switch to competing providers without paying a fee.
Mistake #4: Not conducting a careful business analysis
An examination of applications for possible cloud migration is just one part of an overall business analysis. There should be a clearly defined business purpose to cloud migration. This analysis should include evaluating whether a potential provider is suited to meet your application demands, regulatory compliance, and scalability and flexibility requirements at a reasonable cost.
Mistake #5: Not sharing the responsibility for cloud security
The first step in evaluating cloud security for your data and applications is to inquire about the layers of security your potential cloud service provider has in place. Encryption, rigorous data testing, and regular risk assessments are essential. And if your data consists of personal health-related information or other sensitive data, make sure your cloud host is compliant with the relevant regulations.
Many cloud providers put a lot of focus on security. However, this focus is on the underlying structure that will host the applications and data for their customers. It does not cover measures tailored to your organization’s specific needs. You need to have an open discussion with your cloud provider on additional measures that may be required.
Mistake #6: Not designing for failure
Your data in the cloud is not safe from downtime. Like it or not, this is a reality for both traditional IT and cloud infrastructures. And as with traditional IT, the best way to mitigate downtime is to design for failure. This involves setting up safety nets against disasters such as outages and data breaches. This will ensure that your data and applications will be safe, available, and recoverable. Evaluate your cloud provider for these measures, including having data backups and a disaster recovery strategy.