Most everyone uses the cloud in some capacity, even if it’s not a professional one. Simply put, the value it provides even on a consumer level is astounding, and this is even more so with business applications. The cloud makes it much easier for organizations to manage their resources compared to hosting them in-house, but a problem has surfaced with some companies suffering due to what’s called “cloud sprawl.”
What is Cloud Sprawl?
Cloud sprawl happens when businesses lose awareness of how much they are truly spending on cloud computing costs, leading them to add up and spiral out of control. Maybe you have a project that requires a specific software application, so you sign up for a cloud solution to make it happen. As the project expands and more people are added to the project, more accounts are created. When the project has been completed, these accounts are not canceled immediately, and you don’t find out until a couple months down the road and you’ve paid for multiple accounts for an extended period of time.
It might seem of little consequence, but these kinds of issues can quickly add up and become major problems, especially as the size and scope of projects grow. It’s simply unnecessary and wasteful; all it takes to avoid these kinds of problems is a little foresight and documentation.
To control your business’ cloud expenses, we recommend that you design and map your computing infrastructure, taking into account all of your current and future infrastructure plans, projects, and investments. Once your infrastructure is mapped, you’ll have an easier time adjusting cloud resources according to need.
What is Cloud Complexity?
While the cloud can be cost-effective, the solutions implemented through the cloud are not always Software-as-a-Service friendly. Some applications that are used to store and process sensitive information must be secured in specific ways according to regulations, something which can quickly complicate your efforts to utilize the cloud in this way. It also isn’t helping your cost-cutting goals.
Other times organizations might migrate away from an on-site infrastructure without first taking into account what types of configurations might be required to make the cloud work in the same way. Some companies find that when they migrate data to a cloud-hosted environment, their legacy infrastructures still exist well beyond what they should, something which complicates security, too.
Cloud options are generally unhindered by compatibility and compliance, however. With enough investment, you can select whichever brands and functionalities you would like based on your organization’s needs. That said, these many moving parts must be monitored and observed for the cloud to become a cost-saving machine rather than a greater investment.
What is Cloud Security?
The biggest problem with cloud implementation has always been the limited control that organizations have over the setup and management of the underlying computing infrastructure. While convenient, the single sign-on used by most cloud platforms is cause for concern for many IT professionals who are responsible for securing their organization’s infrastructures.
The fact of the matter is that cloud security is relatively strong and shouldn’t be a bother for businesses using cloud computing. There are certain things you can do to improve the security of these solutions, however. Try the following:
- Backup and recovery - Hackers do attack cloud systems, this much is true, and if something were to happen in your cloud platforms, having a reliable backup and strong data recovery plan in place would take a lot of the heat off.
- Multi-factor authentication - One of the biggest problems with cloud platforms from a security perspective is the single sign-on. Today, all cloud platforms support multi-factor authentication procedures that work to enhance an organization's ability to keep unwanted entities out of cloud platforms.
- Use encryption - Data is data regardless of where you store it. To protect any data, you will want to use encryption. Encryption restricts access to data and when looking to build secure practices around data, it is one of the best solutions out there.
It’s not an understatement to say that the cloud is a game-changer for businesses. To find out how you can implement the cloud in the most effective way possible, reach out to us at (906) 786-0057.