Cloud Computing has its own pitfalls when it comes to implementation. Implementation challenges exist deployment happens outside the boundaries of an organization – in a realm not in organization’s total control. There are challenges around security, risks, regulations, etc. It is worthwhile to highlight the most common challenges surround Cloud computing deployments.
- Regulatory challenges: All cloud service providers may not be familiar with all the security requirements that are unique to each country. There are host of regulations around data centre locations, general security risks, data loss and privacy risks, violation of intellectual property rights etc.
- High deployment costs: Most often that not, organizations realize that the one-time cost for Cloud deployment, integration and transition may be higher than expected. In the long run, does the benefits from Cloud computing offset this cost? This is something that every cloud provider must figure out.
- Data portability and interoperability: There is a lack of standards on data portability and interoperability between cloud service providers. Hence there is an inherent risks that cloud service consumer may get locked into a particular Cloud product/vendor. Hence is it best advised to avoid cloud solutions that lack inter-operability.
- Integration challenges: Integration with existing architecture is a big challenge when it comes to Cloud deployment. A particular make of servers in an organization’s data centre may not be compatible with the infrastructure provided by the Cloud providers. This mostly happens if the organization persists with legacy infrastructure that has not been upgraded to recent versions. Cloud providers mostly adopt the latest technologies to be able to leverage virtualization as well as establish a common infrastructure platform that is likely to cater to diverse consumers’ environment.
- Managing change: Adopting cloud services results in significant disruption to business. Organizations have still not geared up to operating in an environment where cloud computing is the norm. Who do business users reach out to when they need urgent changes in the applications or the core business application is down? How does in-house IT department manage the crisis when the management of application resides with the cloud service provider? Will not able to address business challenges lead to erosion of trust between IT and business? Hence a change management process related to cloud computing must be clearly defined.
- Operating the Cloud: Organizations are yet to put in place management capabilities and processes of operating with cloud services. Processes need to be defined on supervising and managing cloud usage, performance, scalability, SLAs, and any unplanned downtime.
- Commoditization vs. Customization: The last major challenge is how to balance between commoditization and customization. Cloud service providers are looking to commoditize their services, cloud consumers may need to go for specific customized services to achieve business differentiation? How can one reconcile the two?
- Managing the vendors: Most cloud computing contracts come with a mixed bag of outsourcing, leasing, and software contracts. There could be multiple contracts related to the software, platform, and hardware services. Secondly a single cloud provider may not suffice all the needs of the businesses. They may have to procure services from multiple cloud providers. If it comes to his stage, managing the multiple cloud vendors and contracts could be an organizational nightmare.