The pace of digital transformation across all sectors has rapidly increased as enterprises strive to meet the challenges of the modern market. The key ingredient in digital transformation is the cloud, as it provides the infrastructure, platforms and applications on which digital business depends. However, while migrating to the cloud opens up new opportunities, there are challenges which need to be overcome. In this article, we’ll explain what these are.
1. The security of sensitive data
Cloud providers are obliged to comply with strict security regulations and this means they have robust measures in place to protect their own and their customers’ infrastructure and data. Indeed, their investment in security expertise and tools is such that they offer levels of security most companies cannot achieve in-house. Those migrating to the cloud, therefore, can be reassured that it is exceptionally secure.
However, companies that store personal and sensitive data may have concerns when it comes to where, geographically, a cloud provider stores data and about the cloud’s multi-tenancy; the fact that a provider’s infrastructure is shared by its users.
With regard to data location, this is an issue because it can affect a business’ compliance with data protection regulations, like GDPR. Some cloud providers move data across international borders to datacentres in other countries. However, as not all countries comply with regulations, a company cannot guarantee that its data security will remain compliant. For example, EU citizen data stored in US datacentres can legally be accessed by US law enforcement for national security reasons, despite it being in contravention of GDPR. The solution for those enterprises affected by this issue is to store data with a cloud provider that has all its datacentres in GDPR compliant countries. Hyperslice, for example, only has datacentres located in the UK.
To overcome compliance concerns resulting from the multi-tenancy of cloud, these too can be solved by opting to store data in a private cloud. Here, enterprises have single-tenancy use of dedicated cloud hardware.
2. Managing cost
As digital transformation often requires a significant increase in the use of IT, one of the cloud’s most appealing aspects is its cost-efficiency. Hardware expenditure can be eradicated and in-house datacentres downsized or dismantled. Migration to a vendors’ infrastructure also means a shift to more manageable monthly payment. Fees are charged on a pay-per-use basis and the service comes with the flexibility to scale compute resources up or down on-demand, helping to keep costs to a minimum.
The challenge, financially, is on managing cloud spend, especially as a business expands its IT services. The use of on-demand resources can quickly spiral and go beyond what’s in the budget. Control can be maintained by implementing use policies across the business and monitoring cloud usage. To help, there are tools that analyse usage to provide insights to help cut costs and use resources more effectively.
3. Acquiring IT talent
IT expertise is in short supply and this can be an issue for companies migrating to unfamiliar cloud infrastructure and wanting to make use of new cloud-based technologies. To ensure this doesn’t cause too many problems, enterprises need a comprehensive understanding of what they want to use the cloud for and should recruit or train staff in advance to make sure the necessary expertise is in place.
Additionally, some cloud providers, like Hyperslice, specialise in developing bespoke managed services to cater for the needs of individual clients and this goes hand in hand with HyperSupport™, our 24/7 technical support service.
4. A multi-vendor approach
The use of multiple cloud vendors has become common practice, indeed, over 80% of businesses now do it. It has become a popular model because it gives customers the ability to run specific workloads with the provider they think best suited for the task.
The first challenge, of course, is matching the vendor to the task. The right choice can be down to a whole host of reasons: price, expertise, location, type of service, compliance and security or the range of bespoke services on offer. The second challenge is one of management. The more vendors a company uses, the more difficult it becomes to manage finance, operations and compliance. This means an increased need for expertise, monitoring, governance and security.
5. Smooth migration
The final challenge is the migration itself. Cloud and in-house environments can be strikingly different and this can cause problems with OS compatibility, system configuration and the running of applications. Dealing with these issues can be technically challenging and drawn out, slowing down migration and impacting deadlines and budgets.
With regard to applications, there is a wide range of open-source apps specially developed for the cloud. These can be deployed swiftly, often in minutes, work straight out of the box and because they are open-source, can be developed to suit the needs of the business.
When it comes to ensuring that migration is as seamless and swift as possible, make sure the vendor has expert technical support to assist you through the move.
Enterprises across all sectors are speeding up digital transformation to stay competitive and relevant in the changing market. This, invariably, means migrating to the cloud. Though there are numerous benefits to be gained from such a move, companies need to be mindful of the challenges cloud adoption raises. Hopefully, the information here has given a clearer picture.
For more information, visit Hyperslice.com.