Cloud Challenges and Considerations for SMBs

February 27, 2023

Idhaya M V Anand Kannan

Cloud Challenges and Considerations for SMBs

Most small and medium business leaders realize that adding technology-based solutions like the Cloud can transform their businesses.  According to the most recent Flexera State of the Cloud Report, 53% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) — those with 1,000 or fewer employees — spend more than $1.2 million on the cloud annually. It is also predicted in the same report that within the next year, 63% of SMB workloads and 62% of SMB data will reside in a public cloud.   

However, most SMBs don’t always have the right internal IT resources or expertise to utilize technological innovation fully. In addition, implementing new technologies in real time can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if the business needs a dedicated IT team or in-house expertise. Therefore, a significant challenge for most decision-makers of SMBs considering a Cloud program is finding highly-skilled experts! 

A recent study found that many SMBs are vulnerable to ransomware attacks due to poor implementation done by a team that lacks expertise. According to the survey, only 37% track and detect resource misconfigurations, and only 43% regularly scan IaaS resources for software vulnerabilities. Furthermore, 65% of cloud users reported needing more visibility into all resources and their configurations. In comparison, only 33% believe their organization has the resources to continuously detect, investigate, and remove threats in their IaaS infrastructure. 

How limited scope and skills slow SMBs shifting to the cloud 

Cloud migrations are complex, and the loss of data during transitions can be detrimental to your business. Performing the migration process without the right expertise can trigger business interruptions which can eventually affect customer satisfaction. Cloud migration can also be a long process and relying on the internal staff until the process is completed can increase the workload and affect your day-to-day business operations.  

Here are a few ways in which a lack of expertise can impact small and medium businesses moving to the cloud:

1.   Difficulty in determining the right cloud solution for the business: Businesses may struggle to choose the best cloud solution for their needs if they lack sufficient expertise. Choosing the right cloud solution for a business can be difficult for various reasons. It requires a thorough understanding of the various options available, knowledge of the most recent developments in the cloud computing market, and a clear understanding of an organization’s specific needs and requirements. Businesses may struggle to navigate these complexities and make informed decisions without sufficient expertise. 

2.   Complexity in setting up and configuring the cloud environment: Setting up and configuring a cloud environment can be complicated, involving a variety of tasks and considerations. Right from choosing the best cloud provider, the process demands extensive knowledge. After selecting the provider and services, various technical aspects of setting up and configuring the environment must be handled. Businesses, for example, must decide on the specific configurations of their virtual machines, storage, and networking. This may actually require a thorough understanding of the underlying infrastructure as well as specialized knowledge of the services offered by the chosen provider. Besides that, security, compliance, and regulatory requirements may differ from one location to another. Again, to work on this, extensive expertise is required. 

3.  Risk of data breaches and cybersecurity threats: Data breaches and cybersecurity threats can have severe consequences for businesses, and the risk of such incidents increases when a company lacks expertise in cloud data security. For instance, businesses may need to fully understand the security features and capabilities of the cloud services they use. If not, it can lead to misconfigurations or improper use of the services, leaving the data vulnerable to attacks. Also, businesses may lack the expertise to appropriately identify and respond to cybersecurity threats. This can include a lack of the necessary tools and processes to detect and respond to incidents, as well as a lack of personnel with the knowledge and experience needed to handle security issues. 

4.  Difficulty in maintaining and updating the cloud environment: Maintaining and updating a cloud environment can be challenging for businesses, particularly if they lack sufficient expertise in cloud management. The cloud environment constantly evolves, with new features and capabilities being added and older ones being phased out. Businesses need to stay up-to-date with these changes to ensure that their environment runs smoothly and takes advantage of the latest features. Also, the cloud environment is dynamic, with resources being added, removed, and scaled on an ongoing basis. Businesses need to be able to manage these changes effectively to ensure that their environment is running efficiently. The tech team also needs to monitor their cloud environment to monitor the performance and availability of resources and identify and resolve any errors or issues that occur. 

5.  Limited ability to take advantage of the full range of benefits offered by the cloud: Cloud is a powerful technology that provides numerous advantages to businesses, including increased scalability and agility. However, without the necessary expertise, businesses may be unable to fully capitalize on cloud benefits such as scalability, agility, and many more. A company without cloud expertise may be unable to design and implement its cloud infrastructure properly, resulting in problems such as poor performance or increased costs. Working with a cloud provider or consulting firm with experience in cloud technologies is required. 

Planning and preparation are critical when moving customer or business data to the Cloud. Partnering with an expert Cloud implementation partner can reduce the burden on the internal IT team and enable your business to migrate to the Cloud successfully. 

Chalk Mountain is a renowned transportation and logistics company established in Texas that had a complex scheduling and monitoring system. Eleviant modernized and migrated its on-prem scheduling and monitoring application using MS Azure which resulted in:

  • Efficient delivery  
  • Real-time data tracking  
  • User management  
  • Data security  
  • Intelligent dashboards  
  • Cloud modernization  
Get to know how we planned and implemented changes in their scheduling and monitoring system to achieve the optimum result.

How can a Cloud implementation partner help during a migration process? 

Cloud implementation partners with real-time experience using advanced tools and technology can enable your business to move to the Cloud without any data loss or business disruptions. With skilled professionals, developing a well-thought-out migration strategy will help with a seamless transition. Check out whether your service provider explains the following steps when you discuss the migration plan with them. Here are some of the recommendations for SMB heads to choose the right Cloud implementation partner.

  • Perform IT assessments thoroughly for developing a migration strategy 
  • Create a roadmap to work out the plan 
  • Understand and define data security & privacy needs 
  • Examine app compatibility, utilities, platform needs 
  • Define operations management and monitor needs 
  • Assess and identify the right Cloud architecture: private, public or hybrid 
  • Prepare a phased transition and test plan 
  • Finally, perform migration 

Looking for an expert Cloud implementation partner for your migration needs?  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 28, 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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