Seeking out a cloud computing solution involves a ton of research. We can follow vendor news, hit the discussion forums and sift through the marketing hyperbole as we compare product features, but sometimes we need a consultant, a seasoned veteran in the cloud world to remind us to think, ‘ big picture’, or to warn of technical pitfalls that one can only discover by having lived through the process of implementing a cloud computing solution for an enterprise or small business. To make your research a bit easier check out these priceless lessons in cloud from industry leaders that even the most seasoned professional will find useful.
The Importance of ‘Decluttering’
For a seamless migration to the cloud, delete old files and invent a file naming system if you don’t have one already, that will make it easier in the present and future to sort your data. Kevin Barnicle, Founder and CEO of Controle, LLC, an IT/Legal Consulting and Software firm, explains it in garage truck terms:
“If you were moving houses you would make sure you would throw out the garbage that you collected over the years instead of bringing into the new house right? The same goes for migrating to the cloud.. Many organizations have piles of what my company affectionately refers to as “eTrash”. Get rid of garbage electronic data before you move to the cloud and you will save a ton of money and a ton of time in the long run”.
Part of preparing for you new cloud solution includes tidying up for the trip, as a result, you’ll be in for a smooth transition with less to ‘etrash’ to bring along.
There is a Service for That- Get Creative.
Leaders at Caspio, a productivity platform for business professionals, know all about streamlining operations for business, and they encourage businesses to be creative. As-a-Service options are growing by the minute and cloud computing is currently a very innovative space. Caspio’s Rapid Application Development Platform, is just one example of a cloud solution that helps businesses of all sizes launch new ideas with minimal time and financial investment. Services are typically highly automated and require little maintenance from IT. Additionally, cloud services often come with guidance from program consultants, project managers, and developers to build cloud applications to meet buyers exact business needs.
Take Data Protection Precautions
Customers should never assume that data protection is included in a cloud computing solution. Not every cloud solution is cut-out for securing data-even if it does offer some form of backup. For example, If you’re shopping for a data, or content management cloud solution to help make sense of all your stuff- it’s not always guaranteed that your content is protected. Never assume this capability is included, and if it’s not, find a way to integrate a solution either from the vendor or via third party.
Patrick Townsend, the Founder and CEO of Townsend Security explains best practice in cloud data protection further:
“Keep these things in view, as a starter, to make sure your data security posture (in the cloud) is rock solid: Make sure all data at rest is protected by 256-bit encryption. Ensure that your encryption is protected by proper key management. Verify “assignment of roles” to each user is strictly monitored with respect to data access.”
A recent Ponemon study found that an alarming number of business owners harbored a false sense of data security capabilities regarding their SaaS solutions.
“Only 39 percent of SaaS users and 26 percent of IaaS/PaaS users had data at rest encrypted, and only 44 percent (SaaS)/40 percent (IaaS/PaaS) of those users were encrypting data before sending it to the cloud.”
The study found that, trust in the cloud as a repository for sensitive data is increasing, but business beware: moving an enterprise to the cloud has its benefits including cost savings, but don’t skimp on the data protection. Costly data accidents happen all of the time and are on the rise.
Cloud Technology Automaton and Remediation Features
According to Raindance, a cloud solutions provider specializing in designing, building, running, and supporting cloud and automation solutions for enterprises, with automation, enterprises can attach policies to their IT assets that allow policy violation audits and automatic remediations. Raindance maintains that, “A quality cloud enterprise automation will help customers audit and remediate for HIPAA, FISMA, SOX, PCI, and numerous security standards.”
Many organizations have little time to spare for keeping their IT assets compliant with internal and industry standards. Chose a Cloud solution that will allow your business to establish an automation framework to retain compliance with configuration standards.
Underestimating Cloud Infrastructure Requirements
Experts at Docurate.com reveled one of the most “Doh!” moments that business professionals encounter as they turn their business to cloud. Bandwidth. Cortney Thompson, CTO of Green House Data, a cloud hosting and colocation provider reminds business owners to proceed to the cloud with network speeds in mind:
“Setup and administration of storage is getting easier every day, but network speeds are more limiting. The more data moving in and out of the data center on a daily basis, the higher the bandwidth charges could be depending on the provider and pricing plan. Plus moving just 1 TB of data into the cloud could take anywhere from minutes to hours to days, depending on the company connection.”
Thompson suggests that business owners should plan for the increased need in network bandwidth before going to market for a cloud platform product.