Challenges for Enterprise Cloud Computing Adoption

The adoption of cloud computing is widespread and growing. For small start-ups and mid-sized organizations, SaaS models have been largely embraced and the process of moving over to the cloud has gone swiftly for many. However, for larger enterprises, there are more challenges to the adoption of SaaS that make the process take extra time and strategy. While cloud computing is known to be “the next big thing”, CIOs face some obstacles that they must work to overcome when undergoing enterprise SaaS adoption. Here are some of those challenges, along with suggestions for working through them.

1. Unfamiliar pricing models. It is difficult to implement the SaaS model when IT departments and budgets are not yet fit for a new pricing structure. Of CIOs surveyed in a recent Trustmarque study, 72% said cloud pricing models are “complicated”, as cloud providers differ in the way they charge for cloud services. This makes sense: there are pay-as-you-go, monthly and annual cloud pricing models, and organizations must use their judgement when choosing which is best for them. This customization aspect has slowed cloud adoption as CIOs try to plan long-term for cloud expenditure based on their existing budgeting basis.

2. New strategies for the IT department. In the same Trustmarque survey, 77% of CIOs found it difficult to decide which cloud services are best for their business, and from there, how to correctly deploy them. In a world where there are endless cloud services to choose from, each with different consumption models, this challenge makes perfect sense. Further, 37% said that preparing for cloud services has required a restructuring of the IT department, due to obstacles such as mixing public/private and deploying applications which were not initially built with cloud in mind.

3. Ownership issues. Many are familiar with the difficulty of identifying ‘who has what’ in an organization. Well, the cloud adds fuel to that ownership issue. It’s really a double-edged sword – on one hand, cloud application configuration is easier because individual users and departments can deploy apps themselves with speed and ease, but on the other hand, the IT department still needs to be able to identify exactly who has ownership of which app. This creates a sort of disconnect and goes back to the problem of shadow IT, so is something organizations are wary of when it comes to cloud adoption.

4. Data security. A classic cloud fear that we’ve all recognized is security. The SaaS model gives many users the freedom to access apps at any time within the organization, but this ease of sending company data into the cloud can be a potential data security issue. Many are concerned about sensitive data going into the cloud and having the right model and solution to ensure cloud consumption is easy and more importantly, secure.

While the SaaS model is new and it will take some time for enterprises to overcome these challenges, we have a few suggestions in the meantime. Organizations must ensure they have processes in place around proper cloud discovery and identification. Vizor is a complete solution that can offer cloud subscription management within its software asset management capabilities, providing all the necessary processes for cloud identification and ownership. Additionally, a solution like this in place will help enterprises overcome waste reduction for cloud apps and in turn save them costs. Having a strong existing SAM model and putting it into action for cloud subscriptions will help reduce delivery time and costs, plus assist in navigating the complexities that hinder cloud consumption.

Source: Trustmarque, “Highlighting operational and financial barriers to cloud”

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