December 6, 2014
When it comes to cloud computing, many businesses have expressed a lot of enthusiasm. As can be seen in the explosion in the number of cloud providers, cloud computing is more popular than it’s ever been with many companies eager to take advantage of its benefits. The cloud is proving to be a transformational technology capable of turning businesses into more productive organizations. In fact, one 2013 survey shows that nearly half (49 percent) of executive managers believe the cloud has the power to revolutionize their companies. Despite this, a large number of businesses are hesitant to adopt cloud computing. Such a switch may strike them as an added burden, and though they may agree the cloud provides benefits, a major transition like that likely fills them with trepidation. In many cases, fears are holding back organizations from embracing cloud computing. If there is any hope for them to switch to the cloud, it will need to come from recognizing these fears and having them addressed by cloud vendors.
Security remains a top concern for every company, no matter the size or nature of the organization. A move to the cloud represents added worry as more questions are presented and emphasized. The issue over cloud security may in fact be the largest concern companies have and the biggest reason they are reluctant to use it. When all of an organization’s systems are on-site, security remains the company’s responsibility. A move to the cloud, however, turns all those responsibilities over to a cloud provider. It is the vendor that is responsible for who gets access and when, what types of security features they possess, and how frequently those features are patched and updated. Many cloud vendors have taken these concerns seriously, working hard to improve their security, but this is still one area that needs to be vetted by prospective businesses before officially switching to the cloud.
Loss of Control
Equipment can be a precious commodity for companies. With everything at hand, IT workers can respond to emergencies or upgrade devices and technologies at their own pace. If a company moves to the cloud, decisions on what equipment is used and how often upgrades and repairs are made is entirely up to a third party. In other words, a business loses some control over equipment decisions when making that switch. This is a particular concern for members of the IT department. While IT remains fiercely competitive, a mistake on the end of the cloud provider may end up being blamed on the local IT department. Losing control over a company’s data is also a big issue, especially when it comes to ensuring that data is protected. Cloud vendors should always make sure companies know what measures are being taken to secure data and when improvements to equipment will be made.
The cloud provides many advantageous capabilities and new functions that can expand a company’s scope and offerings. These new capabilities usually lead to a shift in business strategy, but it can also cause many employees to worry about their jobs and if they’re being made obsolete. The cloud introduces new demands, which often require workers to develop new skill sets. It also generates uncertainty for organizations around their existing employees. While the concern is genuine, cloud vendors and companies alike should know that even with the new capabilities, a more productive workplace usually means workers will be more valued. A simple matter of periodic training can help employees overcome this potential fear.
Coinciding with security fears are the worries over what happens legally in the event of a security breach. Lawsuits are on the rise due to data being compromised on the cloud. There are also legal concerns depending on the location of the cloud provider or the place where data is stored and processed. Different countries and even different states may have different laws and regulations dictating data access and the ramifications of data leaks. The potential lawsuits could be crippling to a business, making for a genuine fear about moving to the cloud. Companies should always know where their data is being kept and what laws are in place related to the cloud in that location. Cloud providers should also be upfront about the possibility of data breaches and what happens in just such an incident so lawsuits can be avoided.
While these fears about the cloud are understandable, most can be overcome with experience. A recent survey shows that the more experience an organization has with the cloud, the more their fears decrease. Sometimes, getting over fears requires taking the plunge. Businesses can start small, moving only simple operations to the cloud, before making any major transitions. Whatever strategy is used, cloud computing is a worthwhile investment all businesses should look into and seriously consider adopting.
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