Yes, everyone and their mother has been saying how the cloud is the next big thing. As a matter of fact, a survey showed 85 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy. With all the numbers and stats being thrown around, it’s no wonder more and more IT professionals are considering adopting this new way of storing data. But is it a step that’s right for you?
Before you make that decision, let’s take a look at some disadvantages and risks that often come with making a move to the cloud. Ultimately, this will help you decide whether the advantages outweigh the pitfalls.
What does moving to the cloud ensue?
Before we look at some of the consequences of moving to the cloud, let’s take a look at what it takes to make the move. When you move your business to the cloud, you’re likely implementing one of the following practices:
- Remote data storage: In this case, only your data will be moved to remote servers run by data hosting providers.
- Adopting SaaS: You can use SaaS (Software as a Service) providers to run your business’ applications with the option of having the data stored either remotely or on your own services.
- Total cloud adoption: While using either of the two practices mentioned above will result in a hybrid working environment, adopting them both will mean your business has moved 100 percent to the cloud. All your applications, software and data will be accessed from a server that you connect to over the internet.
You’ll have to do some research and decide which way to go, as many factors will influence which scenario you should implement for your business.
Pitfalls of moving your business to the cloud
There are definitely advantages to moving to the cloud, and they’re not to be ignored. However, we want to make sure you see both sides of the coin and make an absolutely informed decision. So, before you decide one way or another, keep these following things in mind.
1. Abysmal internet will hurt you
If your cloud hosting provider happens to be located in a country that isn’t exactly famous for its superb internet connections, you and your clients will suffer. It’s really imperative you choose a cloud hosting provider that can guarantee above-average (as close as possible to 100 percent) uptimes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to access and work on your own data, and your customers won’t be able to do business with you.
2. Entrusting your security to a third-party
Unless your business deals with data security, you really won’t be at a disadvantage when it comes to entrusting the safety of your data to most hosting providers. They’ve made it their business to keep their clients’ data safe and out of harm’s way. Their reputation as a competent business in their field depends on making sure they don’t lose their clients’ data or have it stolen by hackers.
But they’ll still have access to your data. While encryption can decrease the risks of their being able to see what’s stored on their servers, it doesn’t mean they can’t hold it hostage in cases of a dispute, for example. This is not a common occurrence, but it does happen.
3. Poor return on ROI
Moving to the cloud can cut your costs, as you get rid of servers, operating system licenses and application fees. You might save a lot of money by letting the cloud hosting providers worry about caring for your data and implement software and applications that you can use.
But you still need to make sure you’re actually winning the cost war. You should have positive answers to questions like:
- Do the cloud applications you might use offer the same features as the ones you’ve been using locally?
- Are data access times as low on the cloud as they are on your local servers?
- Do the security measures your online hosting provider have in place meet the strictness you require?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you might want to have a second look at your decision.
4. Poor customer support
When you make the move to the cloud, you will also be transferring customer support to your hosting provider. If your website can’t be accessed in a certain country, clients will first contact you seeking a resolution. You’ll likely pass this request-for-service (RFS) on to your hosting provider, who will then seek a solution. This causes a time delay that can negatively affect your customers’ perceptions of your support.
You can still have your hosting provider handle all technical issues while you deal with those that directly concern your business and services. That means you’ll need to choose a cloud hosting provider that takes all complaints seriously, addresses them with the help of efficient and knowledgeable professionals and resolves them in the shortest amount of time.
Make sure before you move to the cloud!
With these drawbacks, you might want to take some time out before you jump into the cloud. While this may be the technology of the future, it doesn’t mean you need to make the change now. You can always hang on to the reliability and security you’re used to, for now, at least, until you see that making the change is truly worth it.