The Cloud is Here to Stay: Be Prepared for the Challenges that Come with the Switch
Moving systems and services to the cloud has many known business benefits. However, as relatively new trend, there are understandably still questions and concerns surrounding reliability, availability, and what parts of the business should be hosted in the cloud.
1. Data Security
With the recent high profile examples of corporate security breaches, businesses are wary of moving their data to an cloud-based provider in fear of security breaches or cyberattacks. According to Forbes, 55% of business leaders stated security fears were the number one concern with migrating to the cloud.
Advice: This is merely a perception. The reality is that cloud based servers are as secure (if not more) than on-premise ERP systems. According to a 2017 Gartner article, “Through 2020, public cloud infrastructure will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.” To minimize this concern, it’s critical to understand the security measures of cloud-based providers. Corporations may also need to rethink security policies and processes. However long term, the cloud looks to be a more secure and safe option for businesses of all sizes.
2. Lack of Coherent Adoption Strategy
Adopting a cloud based ERP solution without a coherent strategy poses a great risk for companies making the switch. According to Gartner, “Postmodern ERP will equally disappoint if there isn’t a fundamental change in approach.”
Advice: When making the switch, it’s critical to take the proper time to establish the business needs from an ERP framework. Before you begin establish a budget, timeline, and most importantly, realistic business case.
3. The Cloud is Not for Mission Critical Apps
Mission-critical systems are essential to the survival of a business or organization, so any interruption could be disastrous.
Advice: Think of it this way, the entire business model of a cloud-based provider relies on uptime. As a result these businesses invest a significant amount of resources to assure clients that they will always have access their information. Every credible cloud provider can support this with concrete data. In a selection process, ask about the percent of time the service guaranteed to be available, as well as what counts as downtime, and include guarantees in a SLA.
4. Who Owns the Data in the Cloud?
As more and more of personal and business data is stored in the cloud, concerns have been raised over ownership of the data. Does Facebook have ownership of my photos? Does Google access my data for their own purposes?
Advice: A contract with a cloud provider should have clear language that affirms the business’ ownership of data, as well as how the data will be returned at the time a contract may be terminated.