Cloud services have evolved significantly since its inception over a decade ago; cloud tools and applications have improved in complexity as well as functionality, and there has been an increase in the number of cloud service providers. Furthermore, cloud services providers have expanded their repertoire of service offerings in response to a business’s needs; examples of some cloud-based services currently offered include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and more recently, Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS).
These cloud services are used by businesses in a variety of ways such as high-performance cloud computing, networking, and telecommunications, among others. As a result, there has been an increased adoption of cloud service offerings by businesses; this year, the average predicted investment by businesses on cloud-based services is $3.5 million, an increase from $1.62 million in 2016.
In addition to the benefits gained by businesses through the use of cloud services, there are some challenges as well. These challenges limit the gains that some businesses derive from the adoption of cloud services and may also serve as an impediment to some businesses making the transition to the cloud. Discussed below are some of the challenges of cloud-based services.
One of the strengths of the cloud is also one of its greatest weaknesses; most businesses like cloud services because of its flexibility of access from any location. However, because of the multiple entry points, the cloud has a large attack surface; there are many ways that malicious actors can try to get access to the cloud network. In contrast, traditional physical networks typically have a single point of entry and thereby have a smaller attack surface. Therefore, more effort and resources are devoted to ensuring that the cloud and its access points are secure. Some strategies that are available to secure the cloud include traffic isolation which is the separation of virtual machines into different clusters, and access control lists which define user permissions based on predefined rules.
In the traditional network infrastructure, data was managed and manipulated through the use of relational databases; this was a relatively simple task that was handled by database administrators. The cloud, however, uses more non-relational databases to store and manage data; examples of some non-relational databases used in the cloud are document, columnar, and graph. These non-relational databases introduce a level of complexity into data management especially in trying to ensure data consistency across multiple cloud applications. In addition, the management of these databases requires administrators with very specialized skillsets; these individuals may not be readily available for hire.
The different cloud applications and tools have varied bandwidth requirements for optimal functioning. Without sufficient bandwidth, there may be some latency during user interaction with the application such that the applications are poorly responsive or, in some instances, totally unresponsive which can significantly impact normal business operations. Cloud service providers should be able to provide bandwidth at a granular level so that the cloud applications can function optimally and business processes run smoothly.
Ideally, cloud tools and applications should be broadly designed to meet the business needs of different kinds of businesses; they should be ready to be used as soon as they are deployed with little to no customization needed. However, some cloud applications may need some more reconfiguration before they can be deployed for use by businesses. This additional customization can make the cloud applications more complex and may also increase the maintenance needed for the applications.
At Otava, we are fully aware of the challenges you may face after migrating your services to the cloud. However, we have a team of experts willing to work closely with you to address these challenges so that you derive the maximum satisfaction when using our cloud services. Contact us today so that we can get started with your transition to the cloud.