Cloud services are all the rage with their ability to make powerful tools accessible and affordable. Both consumers and organizations are using the cloud in a variety of ways from storage to accessing virtual applications across a variety of devices. However, this rosy picture of cloud technology often leads businesses to look before they leap. The cloud represents a shift in not just technology, but the way businesses approach and utilize it.
Cloud services are amazing and offer significant advantages to organizations which have properly prepared for it. Read on to learn what impacts the cloud has on an organization and its network.
Implementing Cloud Services
Cloud services gained popularity because of their promise of a more powerful technology for a cheaper price and accessibility. However, what many organizations realize is that cloud technology is not a panacea for office productivity, or even a foolproof technology free from detrimental effects. Here’s a quick review of the advantages and challenges of cloud services to understand why they can have such a big impact on a business and its network.
The Advantages of Cloud Services
The most frequently cited advantages of cloud services include:
- More accessibility. The cloud can be accessed from any device as long as the user enters the right set of login credentials.
- Better security. The cloud is nebulous by nature, making it much more difficult to attack.
- Lower initial costs. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) eliminates many of the initial costs of implementing technology or infrastructure.
The Challenges of Cloud Services
Cloud services, however, are not without challenges. These include:
- Latency problems. Latency causes lagging which may manifest as stuttering voice, videos which constantly pause or erratic mouse movements. Lagging is common when there’s insufficient bandwidth or many users at once.
- Compliance difficulties. It is difficult to ensure and enforce legally mandated data compliance requirements.
- Hidden costs. While the service itself may be cheap, specialized offerings, storage and extra bandwidth can get very expensive quickly.
Is Your Network Ready?
The use of cloud services can have a tremendous impact on a business network through two primary ways: infrastructure and security.
With cloud services, more people are accessing online services and software on a network. Most businesses are already accustomed to a digital work environment. Basic access over a properly configured network isn’t a problem.
However, once more demanding applications are accessed over the network, bandwidth usage becomes an issue. This is similar to how streaming Netflix on one computer can sometimes slow down the internet connection for other users on that network. Cloud services put a similar stress on a network’s infrastructure which may result in lagging or downtime for critical business applications.
Although the cloud is largely regarded as more secure than traditional storage, other security challenges mar its use. For one, cloud service relies on strong passwords which may still become compromised. However, since cloud services and integration go hand-in-hand, a password acquired by an unauthorized user may potentially grant them more access than to a single platform.
Likewise, the accessibility of cloud services from a variety of devices introduces a particularly difficult security challenge. User devices such as personal smartphones may not have the same stringent security as a company computer. Furthermore, it becomes exceedingly difficult for the IT department to manage devices which are on its network but not under its control.
Get a Network Assessment
Moving business processes and workloads to the cloud requires a consideration of how it will affect a company’s network. Therefore, it’s critical to perform a network assessment prior to making the move. A solid and comprehensive assessment will identify current network capabilities, as well as create a realistic expectation of bandwidth requirements. It will also help spot areas where security risks may arise as well as provide insight to develop strategies for mitigating these risks. In addition, network assessments:
- Map out the physical location of routers, which may affect speed
- Identify current traffic patterns to balance distribution
- Provide insight into the bandwidth and data requirements of cloud services
- Considers specific needs of offices, departments, and branches
Get Insight from an Expert in Cloud Services
Cloud services are an exciting technological upgrade for any office, and they bring numerous benefits to organizations which are prepared for it. However, cloud services can also pose significant challenges for IT and an organization’s network. Network and IT specialists can help with this by conducting a comprehensive assessment to determine how best to support a company’s transition to the cloud.
DSI has more than twenty years of experience providing astute network assessments to companies looking to implement the latest technology. Contact us to get started with a specialist today.