February 16, 2016

Common Cloud Objections: How to Handle the Naysayers

According to a recent survey cited in EnterpriseTech, hybrid cloud computing is now “mainstream,” with 53 percent of respondents saying they use between two and four cloud providers. Despite a booming market and the marked advantages that come with moving off premises, you may experience pushback from executives and IT pros alike. Here are three common objections — and how you can handle the naysayers.

Legend of Legacy 

Every company has applications and services they’ve been using so long it’s difficult to imagine a different way of completing key tasks. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the most common cloud objections centers on the disruption of these long-held apps. According to AllBusiness.com, the biggest worry for cloud naysayers is that they’ll have to “rip out” existing applications and force them to work with the cloud. This co-mingling could prove costly, time-consuming and the end result may not deliver equal performance.

Answering this objection means clearing up a misconception: There is no need to shift or move legacy apps if they don’t play well in the cloud. In some cases, moving is simply too costly and companies are better off waiting until they find a viable cloud substitute. Some legacy apps, meanwhile, will never make the transition because of their age and design. In both scenarios, there is no need to disturb the working of legacy apps — move other non-critical services to the cloud first, and then introduce apps that play well with your legacy solutions over time.

Unstable Security 

The next big objection to cloud computing? Security. As noted by MSP Mentor, security is often the first answer given when companies are asked why they’re slow to adopt cloud services. On the surface, the concern makes sense: When data moves off site, IT naturally loses a measure of control. If shared cloud servers are hacked in an attempt to grab the data of other companies, your data ends up stolen or destroyed as collateral damage.

Dealing with this doom-and-gloom attitude demands two answers: First, as the cloud market has diversified, security has become an industry unto itself, with many providers exclusively focusing on the provision of secure cloud services — in other words, they live and breathe cloud security, and offer far more robust options than simply having data “close to the chest.” It’s also possible to leverage the service of “zero knowledge” providers that encrypt your data and then give you the only key. As a result, it’s not possible for malicious actors, government agencies or even these cloud companies to access your data without permission. 

Bad Bandwidth 

Once legacy and security concerns are addressed, naysayers often fall back to bandwidth arguments. Since cloud services rely on an active, stable and high-volume Internet connection, it’s possible to lose access to critical data or applications if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can’t keep up or your network hardware is too old. In this case, the cloud provider is largely left out of the equation: Even the best services in the world are useless if you can’t stay connected.

This objection falls flat if companies take the time to assess cloud needs rather than leaping without a look. Cloud adoption aside, it’s worth evaluating the performance of your network and replacing key devices — or switching ISPs — as needed. When infrastructure is up to par, start by taking small bites of the cloud rather than trying to move all services en masse. One key benefit of the cloud is on-demand resources backed by simple scalability; test apps to see if you’ve got the necessary bandwidth, improve if necessary, and repeat.

Ready for the cloud but dealing with naysayers? Combat legacy, security and bandwidth worries by leveraging flaws in their logic.

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