KT Connections Blog

Cloud Migration and FUD

Cloud Migration and FUD

FUD: Noun – fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

While cloud computing is becoming more mainstream, we find there is still some pushback from IT departments and ‘C’ level executives who don’t understand what the cloud offers and IT professionals may be worried more about maintaining their control than realizing it’s time to let go.

As part of a small to medium-sized business, chances are your IT department may only consist of a one or maybe a few person operation. While they may be dedicated, technology continues to advance, making the job of an IT professional increasingly broad. Moreover, it is becoming obvious that the time and resources of an IT professional are better spent doing other things besides setting up and maintaining an in-house file share.

The world and how we communicate is simply growing beyond the time and expertise of many IT professionals. This doesn’t mean they are ‘bad’ at their jobs but acknowledges that when they were learning, the majority of the tools we use today weren’t available to them and human nature being what it is, it is difficult for many of them to change and adapt to the way things are.

For example, traditionally the typical process of setting up an in-house file share may look something like this:

  • Implement network connectivity
  • Secure the perimeter
  • Allow VPN
  • Backup the file share
  • Verify the backups working
  • Rotate tapes offsite

Just maintaining this setup will keep your IT team busy. However, they have other work to do as well. Add to it network security, routine maintenance, troubleshooting issues with the team and so on. So you can see how much time and expertise is being used to keep a SMB up and running.

Yet, with a cloud solution in place and a hosted server service such as OneDrive, SharePoint, Visual Studio or others, the majority of tasks listed above are no longer the responsibility of your IT team. They are off-loaded to your file host, who quite frankly has the resources to do it better. This isn’t a knock against your IT team, but it is the reality of how the Cloud is designed to operate.

When you use a cloud host, your files are protected by hundreds, if not thousands, of IT professionals whose only job is network security and developing plans to not only protect your data but ensure you have access to it. Your provider scans your files for malware using the best virus protection in the industry. This use of the cloud reduces the risk your files have from ransomware attacks, and if such an attack should occur, you could simply recover your files.

This means the cloud should already be part of your disaster recovery plan. If your business is out of commission due to unexpected damage to your infrastructure, your team could remain at home and still be productive. One of the greatest features of the cloud is its ability for team collaboration.

One of the biggest factors that lead to successful intrusions is a lack of updated systems, systems that weren’t patched either due to a lack of awareness, expertise or resources. When you entrust your data to a cloud provider, a provider who recognizes the costs of a potential breach (to their bottom line and yours), you’re more likely to see faster response to applying patches when a new vulnerability is found.

With all the benefits of migrating to hosted cloud service, why is there such pushback from IT professionals who stand to benefit most from the move? The answer is FUD. If you combine the aversion to risk that plagues many executives with the technical debt, you can see why there’s a resistance to change. Technical debt occurs when organizations have committed so many resources to older/pre-existing technology; they refuse to update it out fear of ‘wasting’ the money already spent or of breaking something.

So, for example, there’s a vulnerability discovered, but closing the vulnerability may require updating software or even new hardware. However, there is a cost associated with making the update. The executives don’t want to spend the money and, out of concern of breaking something and having a cascade effect requiring more updates and expense, the IT department doesn’t push the issue. The result is an unpatched system, ripe for attack, yet no one was willing to accept the short-term ‘pain’ of change for long-term security that comes with updating the system.

Currently, a cloud infrastructure correctly configured is more secure than the majority of on-site ones. This is for two primary reasons:

  • Cloud infrastructures have access to more resources and are able to operate at a level previously unheard of.
  • The majority of on-site infrastructures most likely aren’t operating at what we would consider to be best practice.

Migrating to the cloud is one of the best steps you can take to bring your business into the present and prepare for the future. If the biggest complaint about migrating to the cloud is, “What if some workman cuts into the internet line?”, the answer is to have everyone turn their phones into hotspots and keep working. The cloud and your data will still be there.

For more information about hosting your server in the cloud, you can contact us using the form on the right or call us at 605-341-3873.

 

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Friday, October 19 2018

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