The Cloud is a terrifying prospect for every business, a genuine step into the unknown. We’ve all heard of the benefits of hosted technology, but for every success story, there seems to be a cautionary tale of disaster.
So, is there any truth to the Cloud horror stories doing the rounds?
1.The data thief in the night
By far the biggest concern of every CTO approaching Cloud services is security – and rightly so. Facing GDPR penalties of up to 2% of global turnover for losing personal data, who wouldn’t be concerned about security? Keeping the zombie hordes (and hackers) out of the data centre is a priority for most CTOs after all. The reality is that data stored in enterprise-class services like Microsoft Azure have several layers of security to protect your data:
- Every Cloud data centre is protected by enterprise-class technology to keep unauthorised users, hackers and monsters out.
- All incoming and outgoing network traffic is closely monitored, automatically terminating suspicious connections.
- A team of dedicated security experts provide knowledge and skills to constantly improve defences.
- Data is encrypted at rest and in transit – so even if a hacker does intercept your files, they can’t do anything with them.
Few organisations can afford to implement these security measures on-site, so perhaps CTOs should be more afraid of keeping data in-house?
2. The pit and the pendulum of Cloud spend
Cloud services are undoubtedly cheaper than the equivalent capital investment required to build similar systems in-house. And because hosted services scale according to demand, the savings can be even greater. There is one caveat however. Because most Cloud services are based on usage, and because there are no limits on usage, businesses may end up consuming much more than they intended – which leads to higher than expected bills. Like a zombie that’s never satisfied, misconfigured Cloud services will keep eating your IT budget. The answer is to work closely with a Microsoft Azure Cloud expert like Acora who can help you configure systems and networks for maximum efficiency and cost-control. Which means no shocks when the bills do arrive.
3. Stranger danger
Putting your sensitive data into someone else’s data centre is a leap of faith. What kind of a maniac allows a faceless entity to control their IT systems? But for those who make the jump, it’s usually one of the best strategic moves they ever make. Ceding control of the data centre infrastructure to someone you don’t know and have never met is actually liberating. Instead of dedicating staff and resources to “keeping the lights on”, you can redirect those funds to strategic projects that push the business forwards. Yes, you will lose a small degree of control – but you gain a whole lot more in return.
4. Escape from Alcatraz
Once your data is uploaded to a Cloud service, how do you get it back again? Will there be a ransom demand to pay? Will the host be deliberately obstructive? Are you a prisoner of your provider? Will the Cloud monster eat your data if you decide to leave? The reality is that if you choose the right Cloud technologies, your data can be removed and migrated at will. The likelihood of ever wanting to do this is unlikely, but you always have the option if you need it.
5. Things that go bump in the night
With their own experiences of downtime, CTOs are (rightly) concerned about the impact a similar outage may have on Cloud-based systems. If a ghoulie takes the provider’s UK data centre offline, what would the impact be on their customers? How long until normal service resumes? Without control of the data centre, the CTO is powerless to bring systems back online – which makes them very uncomfortable. The reality is that in comparison to local data centres, Cloud services are more resilient – and much less prone to complete failure. Cloud systems are replicated between data centres for instance, with automated fail-overs to dramatically reduce the effect of a localised failure. By distributing workloads geographically, a cloud system is much less vulnerable to gremlins than your own in-house data centre.
Cloud without the fear
The biggest fears associated with the Cloud are usually down to unfamiliarity – which is why your choice of Cloud partner is so important. Working with Microsoft Azure cloud design, migration and management expert Acora can help smooth away your concerns, help avoid the traps that your less well-prepared competitors may fall into and defend you from the ghosts, ghoulies and other monsters who are after your data and cash.