News Feature | June 29, 2015

When To Advise Your Clients To Pass On Cloud

By Rick Delgado, contributing writer

When To Advise Your Clients To Pass On Cloud

With so many companies working to adopt cloud computing solutions, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. That’s not to say that the cloud is undeservedly lauded. Cloud computing leads to numerous benefits that many businesses find attractive and worthwhile. Yet in the rush to use the cloud, some organizations may not realize that it’s not the be-all, end-all technology some make it out to be. In fact, in certain situations, moving operations to a public cloud may be an unwise move. That’s why solution providers should help every business take a step back from all the excitement surrounding the cloud and truly examine what cloud computing is and how its benefits might affect them. Companies may have good reasons for choosing to pass on adopting a public cloud service, at least for now.

Strict Security Needs

One of the biggest concerns most companies have about public cloud is security. Businesses after all are placing potentially sensitive information into the hands of a third party. While it’s true that cloud security has made significant progress in just the past few years, having some other entity in charge of protecting valuable data strikes many as adopting too large of a risk. In essence, organizations are placing complete reliance on the security prowess of the vendor. Of equal concern is that, should a security breach happen, businesses wouldn’t be able to conduct their own forensic investigation to get to the bottom of what happened. That would all be left to the cloud provider. Potential clients that feel they need a more hands-on approach to security will probably want to steer clear of a public cloud.

Mission Critical Applications

What concerns over cloud computing often boil down to are issues involving control. To use a public cloud, clients will need to give up some level of control and start to depend on another company for daily operations. If certain applications are considered mission critical while providing the organization with a distinct competitive advantage, moving those applications to a public cloud may not be the best idea. Mission critical systems and programs should usually be controlled and managed solely by the company that relies on them. Should a cloud provider experience some type of outage, it could end up crippling a company if it happens to have such important applications in the cloud.

Connection/Network Concerns

It’s that worry over reliability that leads some companies to forego cloud use. In some cases, it’s not the provider’s fault. Depending on location, some businesses may have spotty Internet connection. Since the cloud is reliant on being connected to the web, using cloud computing for important tasks and operations in these circumstances could lead to a lot of downtime, which is simply bad business. Of equal concern is each company’s network. A move to the cloud requires having a network that can handle the extra workloads and bandwidth use. If a company doesn’t have a network that’s up to snuff, it can lead to serious slowdown and a drain on productivity. Instances where Internet connection is unreliable and the company network is limited should lead to providers advising businesses to skip the cloud until improvements are made.

Lack of Planning

As mentioned before, it’s easy to buy into the hype of cloud computing. The result is that many companies adopt the cloud without a firm idea of what it is, how it works, and how they will use it. Moving to the cloud “just because” is a quick way to lose money, complicate operations, and severely limit any benefits the cloud may offer. That’s why all organizations should have a clear plan on how to make the transition to the cloud smoothly. Goals should be identified as well, and they should be tied into specific business objectives. Without a clear path to follow, companies are more likely to flounder in their use of the cloud as they struggle to gain a competitive advantage. For organizations with little knowledge of the cloud or how it can be applied to accomplish business goals, staying away from cloud computing may be the best bet.

There’s no denying that the cloud has a lot to offer companies. The impressive cloud adoption numbers are no fluke, but that doesn’t always mean the cloud is the right fit for a company. Every solutions provider should help an organization weigh the benefits of cloud computing with the potential drawbacks to see if making the move to the cloud is an advisable strategy.