Cloud computing has become a staple of the business world, superseding all barriers between operations, IT, and management. There are some complex issues that have become apparent in the process. Here are five challenges that companies can expect to encounter when planning their future cloud computing projects and how to successfully overcome them.
- Relevancy – The biggest challenge that companies face when planning a cloud computing transition is determining which features and functionality are the most important. These new applications need to be both directly relevant to the mission of the company, but also extremely effective at doing their job. There will need to be means of attaining measurable results to ensure that the apps are doing their jobs and truly earning a return on the investment.
- Integration – Another issue that many companies face is smooth integration of their new cloud computing services. Proper implementation requires buy in from employees and managers at all levels of the organization. Upper management needs to believe that the new applications are a good investment, and have to be willing to lead by example. In addition, managers need to clearly demonstrate how these cloud applications will directly benefit employees in their day to day tasks to encourage adoption of new processes and thorough understanding of application uses and features.
- Quality – Cloud service quality and reliability are determinants of whether or not the integration process works smoothly. Choosing a service provider who delivers excellent reliability with minimal down time will make sure the application leveraging the cloud technology is adopted across the board. If it proves shaky or unstable in the beginning it will be much harder to convince employees that they should be excited about using it.
- Security – Security is an ever increasing challenge as cloud based apps are extended to people’s personal devices. Work apps available on personal cell phones, tablets and laptops can introduce a security weakness. In addition, employees holding passwords to integral apps are a weak link in security if they accidentally divulge that information to the wrong person. Regularly forcing password resets and keeping a close eye on accounts that are no longer active is the best way to reduce unauthorized access.
- Overbuilding – While cloud technology was designed to make everybody’s lives easier by reducing hardware and administrative costs, the reality is that many companies go overboard when designing their new cloud apps. Overbuilding apps or creating too many apps can run a cloud integration project way over budget and prevent it from delivering the promised returns it was set up to achieve. During the planning phase it is imperative that project managers nail down the apps and functionality that are of highest importance and focus on only the things that will truly impact the organization in a meaningful way.
Any company seeking to effectively move to a cloud based management and control platform should be prepared to address these five issues from the outset. Failing to narrow down the scope of the project from the beginning will lead to an overblown suite of applications that do not live up to their potential, costing too much money and never proving useful to employees. In some cases this leads companies to completely abandon their project after they are too far in to turn back.