By now, every business leader should be familiar with the benefits of the cloud, but that doesn’t mean it’s a decision to take lightly. Just like any other major change to your IT infrastructure, migrating to the cloud presents a significant technological upheaval, one that can backfire spectacularly if you’re not adequately prepared. Here are some of the biggest challenges you’ll face along the way:
#1. Training your staff
Untrained employees are the number one threat to your organization’s data security, even if they have the best intentions. Time and again, the human element has proven to be the weakest link in cybersecurity, and in some situations, your data is more vulnerable when it's being moved to the cloud. Aside from implementing obvious technical measures, such as full, end-to-end data encryption, you also need to think about training your team.
The cloud offers the convenience of being able to access business apps and data from anywhere, regardless of the device being used. However, this also introduces some important security challenges that can only be properly mitigated by trained staff who understand the risks and their obligations. Regular staff training is essential for addressing skill gaps and maximizing security throughout your cloud migration.
#2. Integrating outdated applications
The fast-moving world of technology is difficult for some to keep up with. Furthermore, businesses are under constant pressure to innovate, while sales and marketing folk are always trying to convince them to upgrade as often and as fast as possible. Sometimes, it feels like you’re expected to replace your entire computing infrastructure every few years.
Fortunately, that’s neither necessary nor desirable. Migrating to the cloud doesn’t and shouldn’t mean completely giving up on your existing infrastructure. Although it’s not always easy to integrate outdated desktop applications that aren’t compatible with cloud-hosted platforms, you can overcome many limitations by partnering with a managed IT services provider for cloud desktops or customized software.
#3. Overcoming bandwidth limitations
If there’s one thing salespeople often neglect to mention about cloud computing, it’s the bandwidth requirements. Your cloud apps, desktops, and other resources must offer at least the same degree of responsiveness and usability as your non-cloud solutions. Otherwise, employee productivity and morale will take a nosedive.
Cloud computing relies on fast and stable internet connections. While some applications will work just fine on slower connections, applications such as video conferencing and online backup need as much as you can spare. If you’re planning to migrate to the cloud, you’ll want to make sure you have the best connection you possibly can, preferably fiber-optic broadband with at least one redundancy. If you’re in West Palm Beach, Treasure Coast, Buffalo or Rochester, you have several options and we can help you decide which is best.
#4. Meeting compliance demands
Digital security has become the concern of the century to such an extent that people won’t think twice about terminating business with a company that suffers a data breach or fails to meet its compliance obligations. Migrating to the cloud opens up a new attack surface while also introducing additional regulatory concerns. While that shouldn’t put you off, it is essential that you prioritize security and compliance right from the outset, especially as states like New York and Florida introduce their own data security laws.
While many IT providers are now offering compliance as a service (CaaS), it still falls to you to choose companies that adhere to any regulations concerning your industry and the sort of data it holds. For example, if a healthcare company outsources their IT to a company that isn’t compliant with the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA), both parties may be held liable for breaching their legal obligations.