According to Gartner, spending for enterprise cloud platforms will increase 14% by 2024. One reason is that, especially for small to medium sized businesses, cloud computing is proving to be 40x more cost effective than having in-house IT systems and data centers. The public cloud (as opposed to a private cloud) is easy to use, cost-efficient, and scalable. Yet migration is not a simple task and success is not a given, especially when organizations encounter unanticipated obstacles.
Pranav Kondala, solutions architect for Hughes, identified some of the most common challenges enterprises experience when it comes to cloud computing and connectivity in a recent discussion. These include:
Lack of knowledge and expertise. Many businesses launch cloud computing initiatives without realizing they do not have the right talent available in-house to support their digital transformation. Additionally, Mr. Kondala notes, “with cloud architecture expertise in high demand, finding talent in this market has challenges of its own.”
Visibility. Moving workloads to the public cloud means losing many of the controls an enterprise once maintained with on-premises solutions. Cloud providers do not grant their customers direct access to shared infrastructure and traditional monitoring infrastructure will not, in many cases, work in the cloud. While cloud providers may provide log files detailing workload activity, without also having access to data packets, analysts or operations teams can’t use these log files to investigate alerts, identify root causes and remediate threats. Lack of packet data will also limit their ability to investigate performance issues in complex cloud environments.
Data protection and privacy. When it comes to securing data in the cloud, it is important to understand subtle differences between on-premises versus cloud security approaches. It is a myth that the cloud is always more secure than on-prem capabilities. Even though the cloud service provider may assure data integrity, it is always the enterprise’s responsibility to understand what the provider is doing to protect against intruders and keep up to date on the latest security fixes, as well as the steps they’ll take in the event of a breach. “Having the right security posture from Day 0 is critical for any cloud migration effort,” stressed Mr. Kondala.
Secured connectivity into the public cloud. Especially for the distributed enterprise with hundreds of locations, secure connectivity to the public cloud is complex and relies on so many different providers – all of which have unique infrastructures, capabilities and costs. It is also time and resource intensive for IT teams to manage multiple providers.
Performance may vary. As with any scenario involving service providers, an enterprise may experience performance variances between or within vendors. Yet when network performance suffers due to cloud connectivity, so does the user experience. Mr. Kondala advises paying careful attention to network issues, such as latency, packet loss, and congestion, which can undermine cloud application performance.
One of the greatest ways to mitigate these and other challenges is to invest in training and certification for the IT team members responsible for managing the cloud strategy and implementation. Another option is to turn to a Managed Network Services Provider (MNSP), like Hughes, that offers deep bench expertise to address these and other challenges and optimize cloud performance once the shift is complete. An MNSP can lead transition efforts or supplement an internal IT team’s activity, providing the resources needed to efficiently grow a business’ capabilities.
“The cloud environment and data center are incredibly different footprints. It is important that your teams are trained to embrace and understand what is required of a realistic cloud strategy. Whether you are just starting off with cloud computing or are in mid-migration, finding the right talent is critical and can save a lot of money and trouble in the long run,” Mr. Kondala said.