Cloud computing technologies offer businesses a way to scale their IT quickly, easily and efficiently at far lower cost than a similar onsite setup. Software subscription provides access to enterprise-grade systems, allowing smaller businesses to compete with their far larger competitors, and bringing them the same strategic IT advantages.
But there are also some potential pitfalls that you need to address to ensure that the Cloud is being used effectively – and most revolve around transparency.
Perhaps the biggest headache for IT managers is the use of unauthorised apps for work, called shadow IT. Although it is good to allow employees to work in new and flexible ways, it is vital that you know what is being used, by whom and the data that is stored in each service. Without knowing these details, it is impossible to ensure that you are meeting your business’ obligations under the Data Protection Act.
A regular systems audit is strongly recommended to maintain control over this issue, and adoption of a centralised, reliable storage system (such as CloudDrive) will remove legal data concerns. Transparency is essential to planning and implementing security measures and the ability to respond instantly to any potential breach or loss.
One of the greatest strengths of the Cloud is the way that capacity can be added quickly and easily – often automatically – to accommodate increased storage or processing needs. However, this also creates a potential weakness, as you can quickly end up using, and paying for, much more than you ever intended, for instance through inefficient employee use of storage.
Without transparency, the ability to see exactly how Cloud services are being used, you will be unable to properly understand resource usage and costs, and manage your IT budget. Again, the best solution is to implement a robust, centralised system for storage and for monitoring Cloud resources.
Increasingly, department heads are purchasing Cloud services, leaving IT out of the pre-deployment planning processes and creating issues with integration as well as transparency.
The modern, data-driven enterprise must be able to share information across departments to provide the insights required for a workable IT strategy that aligns with wider business goals. But if Cloud services are purchased and controlled separately, this perpetuates the issue of information silos.
For your business Cloud strategy to work effectively, you need to select integrated services, or those which come with interfaces enabling creation of custom integrations. Your business should consider taking on expert support as part of your IT team, to advise you on strategy and assist you in integrating and managing your Cloud IT.
Get the Cloud solutions you need
Many factors that make it hard to ‘see’ exactly how the Cloud is being used by your business. A recent global survey found that challenges with transparency restrict 63% of organisations from growing their cloud usage. Don’t let your business be one of those whose future adaptability and productivity is restricted – as the survey concluded, a ‘trusted cloud provider’ with the ‘technology and experts to solve your challenges’ is the path to using the Cloud effectively for your business.
For more help and advice on how to use the power of the Cloud effectively in your business, please get in touch with the expert Broadband Cloud Solutions team – we’re always happy to help.
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