Cloud Computing Risks (And How to Deal With Them)

Cloud Computing Risks (And How to Deal With Them)

“Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something.”

– Frederick Smith, founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx.

There is absolutely no doubt that cloud computing is beneficial to companies looking to revolutionize their IT infrastructures. However, there is no denying that certain concerns do remain. While we do advocate what Mr. Smith says in the quote above, of not refusing to embrace new technology for fear of setbacks, it’s always better to recognize beforehand some risks with cloud computing and how to deal with them.

Here, we list some of the issues that, if unattended, have the potential to deteriorate into risks. Often, the solution involves clarifying issues when selecting the cloud computing service providers. However, we must stress that most providers do address these issues, thereby making cloud computing relatively safe.

However, like all emerging technologies, there is always scope for improvement.

  • Security – This is “the” major bugbear, the main reason holding back universal adoption of cloud computing. Being based on the Internet does make cloud computing susceptible to cyber attacks. But then again, all modern IT systems are connected, one way or the other, to the Internet. By that logic, all systems are vulnerable. In fact, the distributed nature of cloud computing makes it easier to recover from attacks, both of the cyber and the physical kind. At the same time, a thorough examination of the service provider’s security policies is necessary before deciding to sign on the dotted line.  We have earlier addressed this issue in Is Cloud Computing Secure? Yes, Another Perspective.
  • Compatibility – The fact that cloud computing networks may not be compatible with existing IT infrastructures is a fear that gives Chief Information Officers (CIOs) across the globe sleepless nights, tying their hands from embracing the new technology in spite of its multiple advantages on the cost and efficiency fronts. Moreover, the very presence of existing systems and the feeling that they may have to be replaced if cloud computing is adopted also holds them back. With hybrid clouds, some of these concerns may be addressed, as discussed in Having The Best Of Both Worlds With Hybrid Clouds.”
  • Availability – When a company has its data in the cloud, it is not in its proximity. Consequently, its availability at critical junctures is potentially a matter of concern. Hence, before signing a contract with a service provider, it is important to clarify how the provider can guarantee data and service availability during bandwidth interruptions and DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attacks.
  • Compliance – Cloud computing may be based off the “cloud” of the Internet, but the actual data resides on multiple servers in multiple locations, often in multiple countries. While this has a distinct advantage as regards availability when any particular center is rendered inaccessible, there may be some issues regarding the legality of certain data being stored outside national borders. As discussed in Computing Without Borders – What Works, What Doesn’t, these issues need to be clarified.
  • Monitoring – Since data is in the hands of the provider, monitoring may be a problem unless the proper processes are put in place. However, end-to-end monitoring over clouds is certainly possible.
  • Lock in – This is another reason cited by CIOs on their reluctance to embrace cloud computing. The company signing up for such services must examine whether the provider uses standardized technology. If dissatisfied with the service, the client can easily shift to another provider without having to incur initial setup costs once again.
  • Standardization – Now, this is something individual companies have little control over. With the absence of codified standards, it is very difficult to judge whether the service provided is good or bad. Also, the problem of locking in with a provider who uses uncommon technology is a distinct possibility. For more on this, have a look at Cloud Computing Standards: How Important Are They?”

In conclusion, we can say that cloud computing is not risk-free, but perhaps, that is the truth of almost every technology out there. Almost all the risks can be managed with minimal effort, and balanced against all the benefits it provides, there’s no doubt which side of the argument as to whether or not to adopt cloud computing, wins.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

One Response to Cloud Computing Risks (And How to Deal With Them)

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

2014 Future Of Cloud Computing Survey Results

2014 Future Of Cloud Computing Survey Results

Engine Yard Joins North Bridge Venture Partners, Gigaom Research and Industry Collaborators to Unveil 2014 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Results SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 25, 2014) – Engine Yard, the leading cloud application management platform, today announced its role as a collaborator in releasing the results of the fourth annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey,…

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom With the back-to-school season now upon us, parents, students and teachers everywhere are once again struggling with the perpetual challenge of making kids job-ready in a high-speed and fast-changing environment. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that information technology plays a central role in all areas of life…

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues Nowadays, many companies are changing their overall information technology strategies to embrace cloud computing in order to open up business opportunities.  There are numerous definitions of cloud computing. Simply speaking, the term “cloud computing” comes from network diagrams in which cloud shapes are  used to describe certain types of networks. All…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic –  The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the…

Featured Sponsors

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Mobile Collaboration In The Cloud Imagine that you, as a manager, are told by the powers that be that you have to find “efficiencies” within your department that will result in one million dollars of savings annually. You struggle with this. You send an email to everyone on your senior team. “Where can we save…

Sponsors

Cloud ERP Starter’s Guide: When QuickBooks Is Not Enough

Cloud ERP Starter’s Guide: When QuickBooks Is Not Enough

Cloud ERP Starter’s Guide: When QuickBooks Is Not Enough You’ve been running your small business on QuickBooks, or a product like it, to automate your accounting function and produce basic financial reports. So, what’s wrong? Things just don’t seem to be working well. It takes too long to get a “picture” of how your business…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter