Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Four Must-Knows Before Adopting Cloud Technology 

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The cloud is the future of enterprise IT. According to a study by Rightscale, 88 percent of enterprise organizations are using public cloud and 63 percent are using private cloud – and estimates show that these numbers will continue to grow larger every year. But with so many companies ready to invest, there is still some confusion around how to best deploy cloud technologies.

Before making such a major shift in your business, there are a few key factors to consider – and also understand the risks presented by certain events such as the recent DDoS attacks on cloud providers. With the insights outlined below, IT and business leaders can avoid common cloud implementation challenges and ensure a secure, reliable transition.

Here we share four tips for conquering your journey:

Understand your bill

Dr. Tianyi Jiang of AvePoint

Dr. Tianyi Jiang of AvePoint

Organizations that switch from on-premises environments to the cloud can realize major cost benefits – but only if decision makers are well versed in cloud management. Cloud computing curtails the need to invest in onsite servers, clearing physical office space and reducing overhead costs. Yet many industry leaders will agree that the costs sometimes associated with the cloud go undetected – such as when running unnecessary workloads for testing and development.

To mitigate unwanted costs, keep an eye on cloud usage charges, spikes, and other changes. Just as you would monitor similar bills, like electricity and internet, business leaders should keep close eyes on the cloud, especially in the first months of implementation. Manage workloads to understand how certain applications are running as well as departmental usage breakdowns. When in doubt, consult an expert.

Prioritize security

While the cloud is traditionally more secure than on-premises servers, it’s not immune to data breaches, hackers, or even ill-trained employees. With a large number of incidents occurring recently, companies are tightening up security measures – meaning some are reconsidering their cloud systems or prolonging their transition off-premises. Cloud technology can be secure if the right controls are in place, but it’s imperative companies do proper due diligence.

Organizations can diffuse some of the internal cloud angst by training employees on secure behaviors. When employees are – from the bottom up – comfortable using cloud technology, senior business and IT leaders will feel more confident that switching to the cloud is the right move.

Employees might be confused

Most employees have basic IT knowledge – working a personal device, exploring the software necessary for their jobs, and when to restart their computers. But the cloud goes far beyond that. When organizations experience data breaches and other “blips,” one of the major issues is usually lack of basic training and human error. According to a recent Intel Security study, 43 percent of data leakage is caused by internal employees. These issues can be easily avoided by providing training for employees and creating a culture of cloud understanding across your organization.

On the backend, organizations should automate governance policies and implement solutions to classify, scan, and redact information. By pairing these activities with ongoing employee training around data security, organizations will be better positioned to handle data loss prevention.

Seek outside help

The days of in-house IT professionals handling all things server and data storage are slowly coming to an end – with the adoption of the cloud comes the adoption of third party IT companies. For some, this might be a breath of fresh air but to others, outsourcing certain IT functions will seem like an inconvenience, leading some organizations to stick with their on-premises storage options.

Find a business partner that works with (and for) you – your needs, budget, and timeline. Seek outside help that shares your mentality on cloud migration, management, and protection. By relying on experts to securely transition and manage your data, IT leaders can focus on making technology more of a strategic differentiator for employees and customers alike.

The cloud opens up numerous opportunities for companies both large and small, but it also brings with it issues that must be taken seriously before adoption. By keeping the tips mentioned above in mind and putting measures in place to mitigate any issues, you can ensure a successful transition to the cloud.

Dr. Tianyi Jiang is co-ceo and co-founder of AvePoint.

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