A shift to cloud computing calls for a shift in business mindset
Much like how plants rely on root fungi for mineral uptake and bees for pollination, businesses form mutually beneficial relationships to drive growth. One such relationship is outsourcing — and using the cloud is a prime example of this. When you utilize cloud resources, you rely on a cloud services provider (CSP) for IT resources and services instead of on your own machines and manpower.
Such a dramatic shift in operations requires business owners and managers to rethink the way they operate.
The cloud is not something you just set and forget
Since the cloud allows you to use the computing resources of a CSP, you skip out on the upkeep and maintenance of machines you use. However, this does not mean that you get to be totally hands off on the cloud. Rather, being on the cloud entails:
● Managing resource deployment so that nothing is idle (i.e., you don’t waste money on things that don’t do anything for your business, such as abandoned virtual machines and unattached storage volumes) ● Managing permissions for who gets to access particular data sets and applications on the cloud ● Administering backup systems and disaster recovery protocols
In short, using the cloud means having a different set of business processes — for which you need a different set of skills.
Being on a public cloud means ceding some control over data security to an external provider
Having IT systems solely to yourself means you can exercise greater control over the security of your IT assets. In contrast, shifting to the public cloud entails partially letting go of this control and trusting your CSP to keep your data safe for you.
This is difficult to do, considering that you'll be sharing the cloud with other users. If your provider's multi-tenancy controls fail, then your sensitive data could become inadvertently exposed to your cloud neighbors. Competitors may even go so far as to steal or taint your data and compromise your applications.
If you migrate to the cloud, be it public, private, or hybrid, you need to have a comprehensive grasp of your data security requirements and learn everything it takes to protect yourself in this new environment.
The cloud is vast — and can easily cost you dearly
Before cloud computing came along, you had no other choice but to purchase your own machines as well as the lifetime licenses for the software you would need to install on them. You also had limited space to house your IT infrastructure, forcing you to consider how to build for capacity and factor in the practical longevity of your IT investments. Back then, you only could only dream of what you could do if only you had more IT resources.
Now, the cloud not only allows you to rent out IT resources — which is more economical than owning your own IT assets — but it also provides you with lots of it.
Some CSPs would insist that you have extra cloud provisions as contingencies for future increases in demand for computing and storage resources. Others would encourage you to tack on a myriad of cloud services you don’t need. So many businesses fail to understand their cloud costs and inevitably suffer bill shocks that make them abandon the cloud altogether.
To avoid this, business owners and managers like yourself must practice restraint in the face of the seemingly unlimited potential the cloud provides. You must have a clear vision of what your cloud will be used for and ensure that it is aligned with your business goals.
Indeed, cloud computing presents new ways of doing things and requires tweaks in one’s mindset to use it properly. To make the most of the cloud, partner up with SimplyClouds. Talk to us to learn more.