The rate of cloud adoption will continue to be highest among small to midsize businesses (SMBs), according to recent forecasts from Techaisle, with 57 percent of SMBs accelerating their cloud initiatives. Not only is cloud adoption increasing, but cloud strategies are becoming more advanced. Many SMBs are using multiple clouds and advanced orchestration solutions to manage these environments.
Interestingly, many small companies are still hesitant to adopt the cloud due to issues that were addressed long ago, such as security and compliance concerns. They also maintain the perception that moving to the cloud is such a heavy lift that it’s just not worth the effort.
As for security and compliance, reservations about losing control of infrastructure and data are largely unfounded. The security and compliance mechanisms used by reputable cloud providers are more sophisticated and more closely monitored than most on-premises solutions. And while moving to the cloud was once a difficult mountain to climb, today’s cloud migration tools make the process relatively simple.
However, there are legitimate reasons why SMBs might say, “Cloud services aren’t right for us right now.”
For many organizations, it’s not about the technology. They just don’t have the systems in place to keep individual employees or entire departments from taking advantage of the self-service capabilities of the cloud to create unnecessary workloads. This can quickly drive up costs, negating one of the benefits of cloud adoption. Organizations that don’t have a robust governance policy and are unable to monitor user activity may be better served by keeping workloads on-premises. Can these problems happen in an on-premises IT environment? Yes, but it would likely require the purchase of new equipment, which wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Optimizing the cost of cloud services can be difficult, especially when you’re constantly transferring data into and out of the cloud. While cloud providers typically won’t charge you to move data into the cloud, many will hit you with a fee each time you move data out of the cloud.
Speaking of moving data, you can run into latency issues when large volumes of data are transferred between users and cloud servers. The more geographically dispersed your workforce is, the more likely latency will rear its ugly head. Major cloud providers have solutions designed to move large volumes of data, but most focus on the initial migration, not regular data transfers.
This is bad news for latency-sensitive applications that require response times measured in milliseconds. Keeping these applications as close as possible to end-users, either by running them in an on-premises environment or hosting them in local co-location facilities, may be preferable to the cloud.
To be clear, your takeaway from this article shouldn’t be that you should run away from the cloud as fast as you can. On the contrary, the cloud is the ideal platform for many applications, and provides a cost-efficient means of adopting industry-leading security tools and other services.
However, the cloud isn’t the right fit for every workload. Some reasons for choosing against the cloud are legitimate. Some are not. Let us help you choose the right “place” for your workloads, whether on-premises or in the cloud, and develop a long-term strategy for managing those environments.