The notion of the cloud has become omnipresent in personal and public life. Simply put, the cloud is a network server structure where a multitude of servers are located all over the world and managed by outsourced technical IT support teams. The cloud’s infiniteness allows users from any part of the globe to access files and apps from any device, any time anywhere.
On a personal level, the cloud allows individuals to safely keep data files, family photos and financial records in a safe, secure space that isn’t their hard drive. There’s security in knowing that tax records and those digital vacation photos of that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Belize are stored in a place that won’t suddenly crash and erase a lifetime of memories.
For businesses, utilizing the cloud can eliminate some IT overhead and in-house server maintenance. Especially now, as companies have been forced to turn into virtual environments, having a cloud-based platform makes it easier for employees to share work files and interact with data-driven tasks.
Why Are Businesses Moving To The Cloud?
The short answer is a cloud-based network environment offers a number of critical business benefits, including:
- On-demand scalability
- Minimal infrastructure
- Access anytime, anywhere
- Disaster preparedness
Could your business’ IT services objectives benefit from any of these competitive advantages? If so, it’s worth exploring the possibility of migrating at least some of your operations to a cloud platform. But for all of the upsides, there inevitably have to be some downsides, right?
Fortunately, many of the disadvantages associated with a cloud-based network can be overcome by leveraging both private and public cloud resources in the right places with a hybrid cloud setup.
Common Barriers to Cloud Computing
But that doesn’t address the specific barriers businesses may encounter when moving to a cloud environment in the first place. In this post, we’ll clarify the most common barriers to cloud adoption that organizations deal with and how your team can overcome those specific challenges.
1. Legacy Systems and Infrastructure
If your organization relies on your network for day-to-day operations, team members may struggle to understand why cloud migration is necessary to prepare for the future. They’ve already invested years in developing, supporting, and using legacy systems and infrastructure.
They’re comfortable with these processes, and as such, your organization may encounter resistance as you begin migrating operations to the cloud.
That’s why a critical part of any cloud migration strategy is accounting for potential opposition while integrating existing legacy infrastructure and systems. A few tactics worth exploring include:
Clarifying a vision for how the advantages of a cloud platform will streamline operations and daily tasks.
Instead of abandoning legacy systems altogether, explore possibilities for integrating them into your new platform. Giving team members ownership over cloud migration projects. By approaching the support for legacy processes as an opportunity to develop a more robust cloud solution, you can constructively counter opposition while working toward a solution that works for everyone on your team.
2. Budget Constraints
Organizations are continually looking for ways to minimize or at least maintain existing technology budgets, and the cloud migration process may seem like a costly initiative that disrupts anticipated annual IT costs.
Although public cloud resources offer a more cost-effective option, your organization may need to leverage private cloud infrastructure to achieve your project goals. Ultimately, though, the scale and scope of project possibilities are primarily dictated by budget requirements.
“When framing budget concerns around the need for digital transformation, it’s essential to remember that a cloud platform ultimately empowers organizations with the ability to run leaner while getting the most out of monthly budgets,” explains Chad Lauterbach, a founding member of the Los Angeles-based IT support company, Be Structured. “That’s because your organization only pays for the specific cloud services you require on a month-to-month basis.”
In other words, a cloud platform lets you scale down network resources when business is slow and scale up just as quickly to prepare for growth.
At the same time, you don’t have to worry about absorbing the high cost and extended timelines of infrastructure upgrades that an onsite network requires. It’s under this microscope that an outsourced technical support team will provide tremendous advantages. When viewed through this lens, you’ll quickly discover that a cloud solution is one of the most cost-effective network platforms available today.
3. Network Security and Compliance
Whether your organization operates in a sector with strict compliance requirements or not, it’s your team’s responsibility to keep employee, client, and internal data safe at every level. Many organizations are wary of migrating to a cloud environment because they fear doing so may increase the risk of a data breach during migration. Others also incorrectly believe that an offsite cloud is less secure than an onsite network when, in fact, the opposite is true.
Critical data is actually safer at an offsite data center than it is on in-house servers. That’s because storing data offsite minimizes the risk of theft and data loss, thanks to redundant resources.
Plus, many cloud partners such as Be Structured, the IT services specialists in Los Angeles, have many decades of expertise in solutions specifically for meeting the strict compliance requirements of:
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)
- NIST 800-171r2 and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
By essentially outsourcing your network’s regulation requirements to a competent cloud partner, you can simplify compliance projects for your team while ensuring data is managed by security experts.
4. Real-Time Support
If your organization has previously relied on an internal team or outsourced IT for 24-hour live support, you may be concerned about how a cloud provider will handle network issues. The key here is choosing the right cloud partner with a support program that meets your team’s needs before you migrate data to the cloud. As with any network IT support service, issues will inevitably arise; the question is how you’re preparing to respond to those problems.
With a cloud platform, your organization will ultimately experience less network downtime than with an on-premise system. That’s because cloud platforms use redundant network resources to deliver always-on network performance.
With a more reliable network, you don’t have to worry about the costs of a network outage, and you’ll become less dependent on IT support. At the same time, your internal team or an outsourced partner such as Be Structured can support your internal infrastructure and devices to provide the same level of support you’ve come to expect.
5. Moving Data
Cloud migrations don’t happen overnight (unless you’re migrating your network’s email system to Office 365). The extensive planning required to successfully migrate and deploy a cloud solution can cause some businesses to put off migration altogether.
You’ll find that with the right cloud migration partner, thorough planning makes the process of moving data as straightforward as possible. With a team of experienced cloud experts, you can even eliminate network downtime altogether while transitioning to a new cloud platform.
For businesses big or small, it’s important to understand the different options available and how outsourcing technical support can be a boost. Taking the day-to-day management out of IT support can relieve internal headaches and actually make the company run in a more profitable and seamlessly successful manner.
Even in dark times, the cloud can be your company’s best friend with the help of outside support.