Believe it or not, cloud computing is set to get more complicated. With new legislation coming into force and increasing numbers of organisations adopting multi-cloud environments, the challenges facing IT teams will be varied and considerable. Here are some of the major cloud computing challenges organisations will encounter in the coming year, along with a few solutions:
Moving the bulky contents of massive on-premises databases such as Oracle, Azure and Microsoft SQL into the cloud can be a difficult task. Imagine moving house with nothing but a wheelbarrow to transport all your worldly belongings.
By adopting data integration software such as MuleSoft, Dell Boomi and SAP Data Services, you can move this data a lot more efficiently. Your IT team will need to carefully map out which data sets to sync across the on-premises and cloud environments, and decide how often this process needs to take place.
One of the perennial concerns about cloud technology is security. According to Logic Monitor’s Cloud 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study, 66% of IT professionals say security is their biggest concern in adopting an enterprise cloud computing strategy. From an uninitiated organisation’s point of view, they’re moving their much-valued data from a safe place under a nearby rug to an intangible location in the ether, where any savvy cyber criminal might care to get at it.
The report also claims that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020, 41% running on public cloud platforms and another 22% on hybrid cloud platforms. That’s an awful lot of potential for security breaches. It’s therefore even more important that you put basic governance in place, keeping track of who has access to what, ensuring all users have the right permissions and preventing unauthorised access to sensitive data. In particular, make sure you check a user’s permissions when they change roles, or shut them off when someone leaves the company.
In 2019, companies will have to ensure that their data practices fully comply with the requirements of GDPR. With more and more organisations likely to move to the cloud this year, cyber threats are also likely to increase. Cloud compliance under GDPR won’t be easy, so make sure you understand how the legislation will affect your cloud services and give yourself the best possible chance of riding the storm.
With GDPR, the answer may well lie in the challenge: the law requires many organisations to appoint a data protection officer to oversee data privacy and security. Rather than looking at this as another cost or an enforced hiring burden, view it as an opportunity to place this considerable challenge into the hands of an expert. Hiring the right person can ensure you meet any legal or statutory obligations – and besides, the cost of a breach may well dwarf the cost of the hire.
Moving workloads from on-premises to the cloud is often much more expensive than organisations expect, usually because they didn’t consider things like data transfer, networking and storage costs. Then there’s the possibility of application overruns in the case of those using serverless platforms. It can also be harder for organisations to keep track of costs when they use a mix of public cloud platforms.
Cloud management tools such as Apptio, OneOps, CloudController, Cloud Cruiser or VMware's CloudHealth can help you monitor your usage and track your spending. Provider discounts like AWS Reserved Instances and Google Committed Use Discounts are particularly useful in keeping your costs down. AWS, Azure and Google also offer their own cost management tools and pricing calculators.
When organisations use a combination of on-premises and multiple cloud platforms, or adopt hybrid and multi-cloud models, managing IT processes can get seriously complicated. Errors can lead to service outages, security breaches and seriously disgruntled users. Imagine cooking a complex meal: the more elements you have on the go at once, the harder it is to keep track of them all and integrate them at the right times.
Sometimes, you can’t stop the chaos – but you can control it. By developing effective processes and investing in the right tools and technology – such as cloud management platforms and cloud service brokers – you can place that complexity into a configurable domain.
If you’d like to talk to us about finding the right people to overcome cloud computing challenges in the coming year, or you’re a professional looking for cloud computing jobs, please contact us.
Author: Ellie O’Shea.