Fifteen public cloud challenges to consider

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The public cloud refers to a type of cloud computing model in which cloud services and infrastructure are provided and managed by third-party service providers. These providers make resources, such as virtual machines, storage, and applications, available to the public over the internet. 

In the public cloud, multiple organizations and users share the same infrastructure and resources, which are hosted and maintained by the cloud provider. The infrastructure is typically housed in data centers spread across different locations. 

The popularity of cloud computing has increased significantly for several reasons over the years, notably because of scalability, cost-effectiveness, mobility, disaster recovery and backup ease, security, better performance, and so on. 

But are there reasons to believe that the cloud presents its own challenges that need to be understood by organizations taking it to the next level?

Absolutely! More than ever the security of information is in the center of the ecosystem, and while the cloud provides good solutions, we still must be aware of the potential issues of using it. 

  • Data Security: Ensuring the security and protection of sensitive data when it's stored, transmitted, and processed in the cloud. 

  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Meeting industry-specific regulations and compliance standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, while using cloud services. 

  • Data Privacy: Addressing concerns about data privacy, including data residency and control over data stored in the cloud. 

  • Vendor Lock-in: Avoiding dependency on a single cloud service provider, which can limit flexibility and make migration to another provider difficult. 

  • Cost Management: Controlling and optimizing cloud costs, as cloud usage can sometimes result in unexpected expenses if not managed effectively. 

  • Performance and Latency: Ensuring that cloud services provide adequate performance and low latency for critical applications, especially for geographically dispersed users. 

  • Reliability and Downtime: Mitigating the risk of service outages and ensuring high availability of cloud services to prevent disruptions to business operations. 

  • Data Transfer and Bandwidth Limitations: Dealing with potential limitations on data transfer speeds and bandwidth when moving large volumes of data to and from the cloud. 

  • Integration Complexity: Integrating cloud services with existing on-premises systems, legacy applications, and other cloud services can be challenging and require careful planning. 

  • Application Compatibility: Ensuring that existing applications and systems are compatible with the cloud environment and identifying any necessary modifications or re-architecting efforts. 

  • Cloud Governance and Management: Establishing proper governance policies and procedures to manage cloud resources, monitor usage, and enforce security and compliance. 

  • Skills and Training: Acquiring and maintaining the necessary expertise and skills within the organization to effectively manage and utilize cloud technologies. 

  • Data Portability: Ensuring that data can be easily migrated to and from different cloud providers or between different cloud environments. 

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Understanding and negotiating SLAs with cloud service providers to ensure that they meet the organization's performance, availability, and support requirements. 

  • Change Management: Addressing organizational and cultural changes that come with adopting cloud technologies, including resistance to change, and managing employee expectations. 

Challenges can vary based on the specific cloud service model (e.g., Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service) and deployment model (e.g., public, private, hybrid) chosen by an organization. Addressing these challenges requires careful planning, collaboration, and ongoing management to ensure a successful cloud migration and operation. 

Interested in learning more?

Browse our Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) training plan that discusses of all these issues, but that helps you acquire good practices in managing the cloud, as well as being as customer.