When it comes to the many challenges faced by cloud computing, they are fairly substantial. However, before you overcome a challenge, it must first be established. Recent studies put the number at around 95%, the percentage of IT companies that actually use cloud computing services. Of those numbers, a good 90% of them use public clouds. A large number of organizations today, choose to offload much of their work to the cloud – recent figures put the number at 40%. However, these numbers are still growing, so you can imagine where they will be in the next couple of years.
Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, because of the number of apps that are opting to utilize it. IaaS is witnessing excellent growth, accounting for 36% of the cloud’s growth, alone. Despite all the given concerns about cloud computing, it still hasn’t been enough to deter companies and leaders from using it. Primarily because of its many benefits.
Today, here are some of the most common challenges of cloud computing:
1. Managing Cloud Costs
From many recent reports, it has been found that a large number of organizations are now spending more money on managing cloud services than they do on security. Estimates put the number at around 30% – accounting for all the money these companies spend, just on the cloud.
Organizations are making a number of mistakes, all of which only serve to increase costs. Often times, a developer or IT worker may utilize cloud resources for a particular period of time, and forget to switch off or disable those resources, once they are finished with them. Many of these cloud services come with pricing schemes, designed to make utilizing their services more cost-effective, but many companies fail in properly utilizing these advantages to keep costs down.
There are a number of technology solutions available that companies can take advantage of, to help them make cloud costs more manageable. For example, they include server-less services, containers, and automation, auto-scaling and the many standalone and integrated management tools that come with the cloud services themselves. Some organizations have even gone as far as to establish their own cloud team, who are tasked with managing usage and keeping costs to a minimum.
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One of the most difficult parts of the entire process is migrating an already existing application into the cloud. Recent reports found that around 62% of migration projects, end up being more difficult than initially projected. 55% of these migration projects were found to exceed their initial budget, while 64% took longer than was initially expected to be completed.
Migration projects by their very nature are time-consuming and problematic. Thus, slow migration of initial company data and difficult security situations are to be expected. These problems may also be compounded by possible downtime, and problems getting migration tools to work as expected. In order to minimize these issues, it’s always best to hire an expert, someone with the necessary level of expertise and experience.
3. Immature Technology
A large number of these cloud services operate at the very top of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, advanced data analysis, and augmented reality. The main downside of access to all of these cutting edge technologies is that the services don’t always live up to expectations, in terms of its ability to perform, be reliable and offer the required level of accessibility.
In a survey conducted by Teradata, it was found that around 80% of organizations felt that running analytics within the cloud, was best practice, but 90% of them also acknowledged that the workload was an issue derived from that, as the cloud was unable to manage it properly. Close to 50% of respondents stated that the main cause of this was technology constraints.
Unfortunately, the only real solution is for the end-user to alter their expectations, to attempt to create one’s own solution or to wait until technology rises to the occasion – in the future.
A cloud provider would naturally have a lot of clients, each of which is in some way interconnected. As a result, when the main server of the provider is threatened, it can affect all the clients on it. Hacking is one of the main risk factors that result from hard computing. Some of these hackers are skilled enough to hack into applications by getting through firewalls with proficiency, stealing data from these organizations. This can and does compromise the client and organizations in more ways than one.
5. Consistent Performance
When dealing with mission-critical issues, one of the most pivotal roles is the performance of these cloud-based applications. This is because something like downtime can adversely affect application performance. Cloud downtime is a reality in just about any technology it’s associated with. No cloud service is 100% foolproof. As a result, during such times, it can put a strain on the client to have to manage or survive during these mission-critical activities.
To overcome a challenge like this, the organization could create its own comprehensive recovery solution, one tailored specifically to their cloud-based data. They should also have disaster recovery mechanisms, which can be brought into play, in such an event.
Failover mechanisms is also a possibility, provided by third-party vendors, in the event of downtime.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website