In a new report, Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud, Symantec shares research that shows that while cloud offers significant advantages to most businesses, there are a few elements of cloud deployments that may be overlooked, resulting in the “hidden costs of cloud,” and I don’t mean cash.
The good news first: Respondents surveyed say that compared to a year ago, cloud adoption is growing. In fact, 90% say they are at the very least discussing cloud, an increase from 75% last year.
Now, the darker side of cloud: One problem that respondents agreed on is the common issue of “rogue cloud,” or the unauthorized use of cloud services. Nearly 77% say that troubling situation exists within their organization. The silver lining for solution providers is offering the network insight and solution management to nip those situations in the bud, not only by catching the use of rogue cloud but by offering alternative solutions. The gravity of this issue is clear: 40% of respondents with unauthorized cloud usage have experienced the loss of confidential information.
Another area where end users are struggling when it comes to cloud is managing backup and storage in the cloud. According to the survey, nearly half of the respondents have lost cloud data and two-thirds have experienced recovery failures. How can you help? Well, first, a majority of those taking the survey admit to have three backup solutions in play. I don’t mean something integrated for optimal coverage; I mean three, hanging out there, unmanaged and uncoordinated. So your first opportunity lies with cleaning up the existing solutions, and if you do it right, hopefully you can migrate those cloud users over to a comprehensive backup and archiving system.
The last hidden issue within cloud, according to Symantec, revolves around our old friend compliance. In the survey, 50% expressed concern about meeting compliance and e-discovery requirements. Surprisingly, nearly 25% have actually been fined for violations. When it comes to e-discovery, the businesses’ track records don’t improve. One-third of organizations involved in the survey have received requests for information stored in the cloud, and, unable to respond quickly, two-thirds of those missed the deadline and faced costly penalties. Again, management of data in the cloud is perhaps one of the biggest values solution providers have to offer outside of unique cloud deployments. Don’t be mistaken; just because a client has gone ahead into the cloud doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity galore.