The cloud is gradually becoming a cornerstone of IT strategies across many industries, allowing businesses to scale and be more agile. However, there may be hidden risks and instabilities around every corner.
According to Gartner’s latest prediction, global end-user spending on public cloud services will climb 23.1 percent to US$332.3 billion in 2021, up from $270 billion in 2020.
Many businesses across industries have adopted the remote working model to ensure employee well-being and promote operational efficiency, resulting in a surge in demand for SaaS-based collaboration solutions. End-user needs are changing, and businesses across the world are expanding their services to meet them.
The definition of cloud computing is constantly changing as vendors add new features and services, but everyone acknowledges it has been an excellent option for businesses of all sizes — and it’s just growing in popularity as a key component in IT strategies.
Enterprises have profited from cloud computing since it reduces expenditures and allows them to focus on their core competencies rather than IT and infrastructure difficulties. Despite the frenzy around cloud computing in the IT sector, there are certain drawbacks to it.
Before moving their business to the cloud, CISOs should consider the following five factors.
Despite the fact that the Cloud market has grown significantly in recent years, several issues still prevent businesses from migrating. Vendor lock-in is one of these concerns. Despite the fact that cloud provides significant benefits to business expansion, many CEOs are still hesitant to migrate due to vendor lock-in.
Users in an ideal open IT environment should be able to easily “lift and shift” data and IT workloads from one technology stack to another, as well as across competing vendors and geographical regions. However, the world of enterprise IT is not always transparent. This is particularly true when it comes to proprietary technologies, intense market competition, and regulatory constraints.
Some vendors make moving IT workloads to a competitor’s service stack extremely difficult for their customers. Accepting a customer’s right to do so without restriction results in revenue streams being lost when users do not commit to long-term partnerships. Vendors, on the other hand, never openly prohibit users from exercising this freedom; instead, they establish financial, technical, and legal barriers that deter users from doing so.
Numerous unanswered questions
Much about the cloud is still unknown, and many questions remain unanswered. Some people are curious about the technology that is utilized to save the data in long-term storage. Others speculate on the data centers’ street address. The cloud providers, for the most part, save businesses from having to remember unnecessary details. To strengthen security, they can be cryptic at times. Those who like asking questions, however, will be disappointed by the tendency of the cloud industry to keep all details under wraps, with the exception of the itemized bill perhaps.
The power lies with the vendor
One look at the terms of service is all it takes to comprehend the power dynamic between cloud providers and their clients.
Money aids in the negotiation of more balanced agreements, but it’s difficult to get past the notion that cloud providers are giants that control technology that enterprises cannot survive without.
One of the most common criticisms of cloud computing is that it causes downtime. Because cloud computing systems are internet-based, service interruptions are always a risk and can happen for a variety of reasons.
Can organizations afford the consequences of a downtime or outage? In 2017, an outage on Amazon Web Services cost publicly traded companies around US$150 million. Unfortunately, no company is immune, particularly when key business processes cannot be disrupted. Cloudflare, Amazon, Google, Verizon, Reddit, Shopify, and Spectrum were among the companies and services that experienced outages in June and July of 2019.
Limited flexibility and control
Because the service provider owns, manages, and monitors the cloud infrastructure, the customer has very little control over it. Consequently, cloud customers may discover that they have limited control over the functioning and deployment of services within a cloud-hosted architecture to varying levels. The management policies and end-user license agreement (EULA) of a cloud provider may place restrictions on what users can do with their deployments. Consumers retain control over their data, apps, and services, but may not have as much control of the backend infrastructure.