Gartner forecasts the public cloud computing market will grow from $99 billion in 2017 to $162 billion in 2020. According to IDC (PDF), cloud computing spending is expected to grow at more than six times the rate of IT spending from 2015 through 2020. All forecasts for public cloud computing point to significant growth and usage, but there are a few caveats of using public cloud resources. They don’t necessarily represent barriers to the cloud, but you should consider these questions and issues before you move to the public cloud.
- Controlling Vulnerable Accounts. When you sign up for their services, public cloud providers generate account credentials for you with full rights. Do you know how to keep these credentials safe from unauthorized users?
- Managing Keys. Every server, service, user account, and scripted account uses security keys. Do you have a plan for managing them?
- Paying More. Public cloud resources can help you convert capital expenses (CapEx), such as private cloud hardware and software, into operating expenses (OpEx) that you pay on a monthly or pay-per-use basis. Do you have the technical skills internally to make sure your cloud usage is cost effective?
- Losing Data. Virtual machines don’t behave as you might expect in public clouds. Do you know how to prevent data loss with virtual machines?
- Becoming Cloud Ready. For cloud providers, “cloud readiness” refers to your ability to rebuild servers quickly. Are your administrators ready for this new operating model?
- Managing a Virtual Infrastructure. When you use public cloud resources, you still need a network design—web servers in the front, databases in the back, failover within and across regions. Have you prepared a working design?
- Getting Hacked. It’s not uncommon for people frustrated with all the security keys, security groups, and access control lists (ACLs) to experiment with things they may not understand. This can lead to data exposure to hackers!
- Surrendering Visibility. Unlike traditional environments, in the cloud, you can’t know the precise locations of your servers and data centers. Can your business accept this lack of visibility?
- Going Without Service Guarantees. Public cloud providers only offer “best-effort service levels.” What can you do to overcome potential downtime?
- Overwhelming Costs. Realizing cost savings from the cloud requires a thorough understanding of the products and pricing systems. It’s important to understand the minutiae.
To learn more about how you can transition to the new cloud computing model, consider our Cloud Strategy and IT Transformation Workshop. It’s a collaborative, interactive discussion that will give you a better understanding of the marketplace and leave you with ideas on how you can integrate the cloud into your own environment.
You can also download our latest eBook – Understanding the Cloud—What You Need to Know Before Diving In.