Challenges of cloud computing


Recently, Flexera conducted its annual State of the Cloud Survey on the latest cloud trends. They questioned 997 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud infrastructure. Their findings were insightful, especially in regards to current cloud computing challenges.

To answer the main question of what are the challenges for cloud-based computing, below we have expanded upon some of their findings and provided additional problems that businesses may need to address. Let’s start with the ever-pressing subject of cybersecurity.

Annual state of the cloud survey conducted by Flexera emphasizes cloud challenges

1. Security issues

We mentioned the hot debate surrounding data protection in our definitive business intelligence trends guide. Like many other branches of technology, security is a pressing concern in the world of cloud-based computing, as you are unable to see the exact location where your data is stored or being processed. This increases the risks that can arise during the implementation or management process.

Currently, 93% of leading companies across sectors are highly concerned about experiencing a significant data breach within their cloud-centric ecosystems.

The main concerns surrounding cyber threats across the board are:

Compromised credentials
Broken authentication
Human error
Mass sensitive data breaches
Hacked interfaces and APIs
Account hijacking

In an age where cybersecurity is expected to cost a collective $10.5 trillion by 2025, these concerns are urgent and certainly not far-fetched fallacies.

All of this makes trusting sensitive and proprietary data to a third party hard to stomach for some and, indeed, highlights the challenges of cloud computing. Luckily as providers and users, mature fortification capabilities are constantly improving. To ensure your organization’s privacy and cybersecurity are intact, verify the SaaS provider has secure user identity management, authentication, and access control mechanisms in place. Also, check which database privacy and security laws they are subject to.

While you are auditing a provider’s protection and privacy laws, make sure to also confirm the third biggest issue is taken care of: compliance. Your organization needs to be able to comply with regulations and standards, no matter where your data is stored. Speaking of storage, also ensure the provider has strict data recovery policies in place.

By keeping your finger on the pulse of emerging trends and understanding the cybersecurity capabilities of every entity within your ecosystem, you will reduce the threat of breaches or attacks significantly.

The risks of cloud computing have become a reality for every organization, be it small or large. That’s why it is important to implement a secure BI cloud tool that can leverage proper security measures.


2. Cost management and containment

The next part of our cloud computing risks list involves costs. For the most part, modern computing can save businesses money. In the cloud, an organization can easily ramp up its processing capabilities without making large investments in new hardware. Businesses can instead access extra processing through pay-as-you-go models from public providers. However, the on-demand and scalable nature of cloud computing services make it sometimes difficult to define and predict quantities and costs.

Luckily there are several ways to keep cloud costs in check, for example, optimizing costs by conducting better financial analytics and reporting, automating policies for ruling, or keeping the management reporting practice on the course, so that these issues in computing could be decreased.

Another recent innovation that helps mitigate costs and tackle this most pressing of issues in cloud computing is multi-cloud computing tools. Currently, 32% of businesses use multi-cloud cybersecurity tools to reduce the financially devastating risk of data breaches, while 31% of leading enterprises use direct multi-cloud cost management tools to mitigate financial efficiency across the organization. In both cases, the return on investment (ROI) is healthy. As such, we expect to see an increase in adoption in the near future.


3. Lack of resources/expertise

One of the cloud challenges companies and enterprises are facing today is a lack of resources and/or expertise. Organizations are increasingly placing more workloads in the system while cloud technologies continue to rapidly advance. Due to these factors, organizations are having a tough time keeping up with the tools. Also, the need for expertise continues to grow. These challenges can be minimized through additional training of IT and development staff. A strong CIO championing cloud adoption also helps. As Cloud Engineer Drew Firment puts it:

“The success of adoption and migrations comes down to your people — and the investments you make in a talent transformation program. Until you focus on the #1 bottleneck to the flow of cloud adoption, improvements made anywhere else are an illusion.”

SME (small and medium-sized) organizations may find adding specialists to their IT teams to be prohibitively costly. Luckily, many common tasks performed by these specialists can be automated. To this end companies are turning to DevOps tools, like Chef and Puppet, to perform tasks like monitoring usage patterns of resources and automated backups at predefined time periods. These tools also help optimize the cloud for cost, governance, and security.


4. Governance/Control

There are many challenges facing cloud computing and control is in place number 4. Proper IT governance should ensure IT assets are implemented and used according to agreed-upon policies and procedures; ensure that these assets are properly controlled and maintained, and ensure that these assets are supporting your organization’s strategy and goals.

In today’s cloud-based world, IT does not always have full control over the provisioning, de-provisioning, and operations of infrastructure. This has increased the difficulty for IT to provide the governance, compliance, risks, and data quality management required. To mitigate the various risks and uncertainties in transitioning to the cloud, IT must adapt its traditional IT control processes to include the cloud. To this effect, the role of central IT teams in the system has been evolving over the last few years. Along with business units, central IT is increasingly playing a role in selecting, brokering, and governing cloud services. On top of this third-party cloud computing/management providers are progressively providing support and best practices.


5. Compliance

One of the risks of cloud computing is facing today is compliance. That is an issue for anyone using backup services or storage. Every time a company moves data from the internal storage to a cloud, it is faced with being compliant with official regulations and laws. For example, healthcare organizations in the USA have to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), public retail companies have to comply with SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Depending on the sector and requirements, every organization must ensure these standards are respected and carried out.

This is one of the many challenges facing cloud computing, and although the procedure can take a certain amount of time, the data must be properly stored.

Customers need to look for vendors that can provide compliance and check if they are regulated by the standards they need. Some vendors offer certified compliance, but in some cases, additional input is needed on both sides to ensure proper compliance regulations.