Cloud computing has become ubiquitous in modern business, enabling organizations to store and access data and applications from anywhere. However, as the use of cloud services continues growing, so do the challenges that come with it.
According to the 2023 Flexera State of the Cloud Report, security, spending, and expertise are among the top concerns for organizations leveraging cloud services. But, for the first time, they view managing their cloud spending — and not security — as their ultimate challenge. Eighty-two percent said their spending is a significant problem, while 79% said they’re worried about security and 78% are hampered by a lack of resources or expertise.
They’re all legitimate concerns, and it’s likely those respondents aren’t the only ones experiencing them. Veeam’s latest Data Protection Trends Report showed that 63% of data is stored in the cloud at some point, and Gartner projects that spending on public cloud services will hit $591.8 billion in 2023.
You may wish to turn to the cloud for its scalability and efficiency, but you can’t ignore the challenges associated with moving data to such a dynamic environment. Fortunately, these obstacles don’t have to keep you from maximizing your cloud journey.
Here’s how to overcome the top cloud challenges that can hinder your business.
Cloud smart, not cloud first
It’s a lesson as old as time: Simply throwing money at a problem doesn’t make it disappear.
Sadly, some organizations are learning that’s true with the cloud, too. They don’t want to maintain their own data centers but covet flexibility, so they assume paying a premium is the answer. In reality, by not building solutions based on their business needs, they’re wasting money on the cloud — something 28% estimate they’re doing, Flexera reported.
Overall, public cloud spending was over budget by an average of 18% in 2022, a 39% increase from the year before. Furthermore, 30% of organizations believe public cloud spending will increase in the next 12 months.
You may think cloud solutions are always cheaper, but the reality is more complex. Price doesn’t always equal cost. Factors such as data transfer fees, storage expenses, and potential hidden charges must also be considered.
Can costs be reduced by purchasing bandwidth in advance? Are there transaction fees for specific operations? Is there a threshold before charges are incurred? These are just a few questions you must ask before turning to the cloud.
Speaking of which: Don’t rush into a “cloud-first” strategy for the sake of it. Instead, calculate a “cloud-smart” approach. Use existing resources and identify specific clouds or services that align with your needs. Prioritize applications that will benefit the most from the agility, scale, and accessibility of the cloud so your investment delivers the maximum return.
Everything has a cost, and it can amount to more than money. By investing in the right cloud storage solutions, other aspects of business growth and development may thrive.
Cyberthreats are always lurking
Cyberattacks aren’t slowing down anytime soon, so while cloud security may not be atop the Flexera list this year, it should always stay top of mind.
Cybersecurity Ventures projects attacks will cost organizations $8 billion globally this year and $10.5 trillion in 2025, when data storage is expected to surpass 200 zettabytes, or 200 trillion gigabytes. That study also expects worldwide cybersecurity spending to average $350 billion annually from 2021-25.
So, why aren’t businesses considering cloud security their top priority? It may be because cloud providers have invested heavily in defense, leading to increased trust and confidence among their customers. Perhaps businesses have found the security solutions that work for them, implemented more robust policies and controls, or even learned from the past.
Nevertheless, vigilance remains essential. The widely accepted National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework outlines the best ways to mitigate organizational cybersecurity risks by identifying, protecting, detecting, responding, and recovering — and it applies to the cloud as well.
Once you’ve migrated your data and applications, assess which security settings work best for your organization. Don’t just accept the defaults. Consider what must be accessed by whom and when — and determine the measures you still need to safeguard your data in case of ransomware, bankruptcy, or other threats.
Remember, cyberattacks are a matter of when, not if. You must be ready to respond when that time comes.
If your disaster recovery (DR) or business continuity (BC) plans aren’t second nature or well understood by the time you’ve been breached, it’s too late. And although DR and BC plans vary depending on the organization, what doesn’t is that practice makes perfect. Test regularly, update your plans as your production environment changes, and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities so they’re prepared to act when something happens.
No experience? No problem
Navigating the cloud can be challenging, especially if you’re not given a map or proper directions.
Many organizations lack the internal know-how required to handle cloud migration effectively. This includes moving data to the cloud vendor, configuring SaaS applications, designing databases and architecture, performing security analysis, and more. Even if you have qualified in-house staff to handle these tasks, they can often be so time-consuming that they take away from other core and more pressing business activities.
Also, because the demand for experienced cloud engineers exceeds the supply, according to an analysis by Deloitte, you may find you can’t hire qualified personnel as easily or quickly as you wish.
Outsourcing cloud-managed services can be cost-efficient, help reduce infrastructure expenses, and let businesses benefit from future-proofed technology. It can cut down infrastructure costs as you no longer need to invest in expensive capital assets, and it can help you reduce in-house employee workloads without sacrificing output quantity and quality.
Ultimately, turning to a team that’s well-versed in the cloud can help you meet complex requirements, ensure the transition is completed on time and within budget, and focus your resources on driving innovation and growth.
Outsource and simplify your cloud migration
As your business moves data to the cloud, you may confront the same three primary challenges that more than three-quarters of respondents in the Flexera survey encountered: managing spending, ensuring security, and having adequate expertise. 11:11 Systems offers a comprehensive suite of services that addresses these challenges and empowers you to unlock the cloud’s full potential.
11:11 Systems lets you embrace the cloud’s scalability, flexibility, and efficiency while mitigating risks and optimizing investments. By choosing 11:11 Systems, you can confidently embark on your cloud journey, knowing you have a reliable and experienced partner by your side.