5 Things to Love and Hate About the Cloud

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heart-shaped cloud in the sky

We’re hearing a lot from Enterprises when it comes to their relationship with the cloud. Here are five things they’re loving and five things they’re hating about cloud deployments.

5 Things to Love

1.  Scalability

By using resources available from the cloud, you can scale as your needs dictate. So, you don’t need to make a large technology investment today for business that may not develop for some time. Similarly, you are prepared if business exceeds your expectations. You can “spin up” extra resources as necessary.

2. Matching of Revenues and Expenses

When business is good, you use the cloud more, and there is an associated increase in expenses. But revenue is up as well, so you have the extra revenue to pay for the extra expenses. This helps keep your cash flow consistent, meaning no need to make large payouts without the incoming business to cover the expenses.

3. Frequent Updates

Cloud technologies are updated as soon as new features become available.  There is no need to wait for major “forklift” upgrades with a truckload of new features being added at a single time. Anyone using Office 365, or a similar program is familiar with the ongoing updates, which typically are small enough that they can be scheduled “after hours” or during other slow periods rather than needing to stop for hours or longer for updates to be loaded.

4. Immediate availability

Though you may take some time to customize cloud-specific technology to meet your needs, you are basically ready to go as soon as you sign the contract. There’s no need to wait for a technical team to install programs on premises in one or multiple facilities.

5. Enhanced Security

Cloud providers must protect your data as well as that of all other customers, using a portion of the fees they charge for that purpose. As a result, they can dedicate more resources to security than can any single company that is using the cloud services.

5 Things to Hate

1. Loss of Control

When you take your business to the cloud, the cloud provider has the data, managing where it is stored. It could be in the U.S.; it could be overseas, unless the contract stipulates it must be onshore. Similarly, loss of visibility can be an issue.

2.  Micro-Managing Resources

As opposed to on-prem where you typically buy the equipment (CAPEX) can ‘set it and forget it,’ in the cloud you do not have that luxury. Once equipment is owned on-prem, the norm is to leave things up and running. Conversely, in the cloud, you must build the behavior and automation to turn down, or off, resources that are not being used. If not, the cost is OPEX, and idle resources can quickly skyrocket.

3. Cost Control

All it takes is one spike in a large enterprises’ application usage for your cloud bill to go soaring out of control. Couple this with not catching said spike for a period of time, and you could be looking at hundreds of thousands in cloud cost waste.

4.  All Cloud Providers Aren’t the Same

While all cloud providers promise the same benefits, the reality is that different cloud providers will offer better solutions for different companies. Some cloud providers seek to serve companies across different parts of the global economy, while others specialize industries, such as financial services. Similarly, the largest cloud providers, like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are familiar with, and tend to be very responsive to large, global enterprises. Smaller cloud providers don’t have the reach of AWS or the others, but they may be more responsive to the needs of smaller customers. The bottom line is that a company can’t simply choose a cloud provider that makes the best pitch or because you know another organization that uses it. Like any other important business decision, choosing a cloud provider requires thoughtful due diligence.

5.  You’re Still Responsible

Did the cloud service go down as AWS did for a significant period earlier in December of 2021? Your customers don’t care. They are doing business with you, not AWS. So, when a cloud provider goes down, for whatever reason, a company needs to be ready to handle the resulting customer complaints. The AWS outage also points to the need for due diligence when examining potential cloud providers, with uptime and reliability being prime considerations.

The cloud is here to stay. We can all agree on that. So, we might as well make the most of our relationship with it and fix what’s not working, ASAP! No one actually wants a breakup.

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