Common Roadblocks To Cloud Adoption (And How To Start Moving Them)

The benefits of cloud computing are obvious -- high availability, improved flexibility, reduced costs -- but that doesn't mean that shifting from a conventional server architecture to a cloud environment is easy. What roadblocks stand in the way of companies shifting to the cloud, and what can be done about them?

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A recent survey of 250 current cloud computing users by the Cloud Security Alliance and ISACA identified the ten issues which were causing the most concern for cloud deployments. We've outlined them below, along with suggestions about how to deal with them in practice. Many are variations on a common theme: what's the legal status of data stored offshore? That's an issue which is much discussed, but which doesn't have an obvious resolution.

Concern Comments
Government regulations lagging Cloud is a relatively new concept, and legal frameworks haven't necessarily shifted to reflect that. Industry associations lobbying government may help, but it seems unlikely better cloud enablement will be a major vote winner.
Exit strategies Data portability is critical when using cloud providers. Ensure that there's a well-defined method for exporting and shifting data and apps if you decide to change providers.
International data privacy Privacy laws vary widely from country to country, and many cloud providers won't tell you where data is located. If you're storing sensitive data, make sure that the location is specified and that you're happy with the legal framework that applies.
Legal issues We're yet to see a major court brawl over cloud deployment. Check contracts carefully before signing.
Contract lock In theory, cloud providers should be able to operate on a month-to-month contract, but many require a longer-term deal. That can have upsides for the business, since you have predictability for costs.
Data ownership and custodian responsibilities Ultimately, the business is responsible for what happens with customer data; make sure you have safeguards in place.
Longevity of suppliers Cloud is a relatively new market, but there are clearly established major players.
Integration of cloud with internal systems Few (if any) businesses will operate exclusively in the cloud. Integrating data between cloud and on-premises systems can be complex; minimise the number of different platforms you run to reduce the issue.
Credibility of suppliers Seek customer references before signing up.
Testing and assurance Ensure that testing covers a range of network topologies and scenarios -- what works well in HQ won't always function as well in branch offices with slower connections.

Does that list match up with your own cloud concerns? Tell us in the comments.


    Pretty much all of the above. No matter what I have seen or read there is no cloud provider that will offer complete data security , if the USA wants a look they will and if the service / provider goes belly up, you have no recourse.

    See Also:
    Amazon - 1984
    Barnes and Noble - Expired credit card locks access to already paid content.

    Let's not forget the fact that in Australia we have ridiculous slow internet speeds and our ISP's impose download caps on us. Until our internet becomes faster and more reliable across the board and until ISP's and mobile providers abolish data caps, "embracing the cloud" isn't going to happen very fast here.

    Let's survey the Cloud users in Warrnambool and take some real-life feedback

    Data roaming is still prohibitively expensive. If you're in Europe where you cross borders frequently, you basically need a different contract for each country. If you're relying on cellular access then even living NEAR a border can cause problems. There are ridiculous cases where you cross a border and have the same telco's towers connecting you, but once they work out you're in a different country to your contract, the rates become astronomical.

    Right now I'm trying to backup to Crashplan on a rural DSL connection. It's predicting it will take 3 months just to get my photo library backed up! Music and the rest will take over a year. If I was in Australia I couldn't even do the backup with most plan caps.

    One must never forget that if you use a USA based cloud provider y our company's (or your personal) data will fall under their draconic and sometimes warrant-less seizure laws.

    For personal use Amazon EC2 Cloud is actually quite cheap, but I wouldn't put my companies data there if I were paid a million dollars.

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