Overcoming the Challenges of Cloud-Based StorageOctober 10, 2019
By Muzamil Ahmad, Lead Cloud Product Marketing Manager, Qumulo
When it comes to file storage, moving data, applications, and workloads to the cloud allows organizations to better focus on core competencies, accelerate innovation, increase data security, build new solutions, and reduce costs. Yet most of the time, file storage remains the last piece of IT infrastructure to stay on-prem, forcing users to choose between rewriting applications and workflows while continuing to manage the on-prem infrastructure.
We know it can be hard for organizations to transition to the cloud, and even harder to determine which storage vendor will be the right one for your company. Organizations can be hesitant to keep all of their cloud data on just a single vendor’s solution platform for fear of lock-in, scalability limitations, or the risk of a single point of failure.
For this reason, adopting a multicloud strategy can provide users the flexibility to make the best choice for their business and price points. Solutions that make strategic sense to be on one platform or another due to location, pricing, or feature sets – can take advantage of a well-planned multicloud strategy.
Without the right plan, moving to the cloud can feel very frustrating and overwhelming. Here are five common mistakes organizations make when making this decision, and some best practices to avoid these pitfalls:
1.) “We’re moving to the cloud because my CEO said so!”
Even if you have a mandate from an enthusiastic CEO, without a timeline or additional executive sponsors you’ll be fighting an uphill battle trying to change mindsets. Even with a winning story and business plan, cloud transitions can fail without executive and departmental support.
Solution: Create a cloud strategy, and get everyone on the same page to align goals, expectations and outcomes. It’s important for all departments to have an understanding of the requirements necessary to get to the cloud. It’s important to start with a business case – find a real problem that you can solve by using the cloud. It could be something purely financial, or focused on operational improvement, or both.
2.) “The only reason we should move to the cloud is to save money.”
This reasoning is, frankly, incorrect. In some situations, the cloud may actually be more costly based on usage – however, what you gain with agility and accelerated time-to-market will increase your total ROI.
Solution: Don’t make cost the only factor to consider in your cloud journey. Think about the future needs of your business and your customers rather than simply focusing on cutting costs. Use your business acumen to figure out the best places to start in the cloud, use a phased approach, and share metrics and objectives with your team throughout the process.
3.) “I moved to the cloud, now everything should work faster and better, right?”
Moving to the cloud can be challenging, especially based on the workloads you are moving.
Solution: Make sure you have a reliable storage provider to partner with your company and help navigate migrations and timelines. The right partner will help prioritize your cloud strategy by evaluating “effort vs impact,” which will help you ease into the cloud instead of jumping straight into the deep end.
4.) “We have to go all-in on a single cloud platform.”
Wrong – many organizations are realizing the benefits of having a multicloud platform.
Solution: Whether its Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or the Google Cloud Platform – take advantage of the unique benefits of each. One provider may have a better solution for your specific needs, or a data center in a region that matters to you, or a price point that’s just too hard to beat.
5.) “I can’t go to the cloud because it’s not secure.”
Even if a piece of data must always reside on-prem due to security mandates, there might be options to move that data in the cloud in a hybrid setting.
Solution: Get your organization’s IT security experts involved early in the process to overcome potential security red flags or roadblocks. Work with your storage provider to address potential compliance, governance or other security issues out in the open so you can work together on migrating them securely.
Examining these common pitfalls – and best practices to help navigate around them – can help any organization become better grounded as a cloud strategy is formulated.
About the Author
Muzamil Ahmad is the lead cloud product marketing manager for Qumulo.
Prior to Qumulo Muzamil did served as a product marketing manager for Microsoft Azure. He also led the Azure executive briefing program, working with C-suite executives in trying to understand their journey to the cloud and how Microsoft can help. Previously, he spent four years in enterprises sales — selling the Microsoft cloud.
He has an MBA from Southern Methodist University in strategic marketing, and a finance degree from Texas A&M University.