To Cloud or Not to Cloud? Make This Decision for the Right Reasons.

According to a report from Techaisle, cloud spending by small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and midmarket companies will reach $115 billion in 2019, with SMBs outspending the midmarket sector. In fact, 57 percent of surveyed SMBs are accelerating their cloud initiatives. Many are using multiple public and private clouds and sophisticated solutions to manage workloads in cloud environments.

A separate study from CDW found that 73 percent of SMBs are using the cloud in some capacity. For those not using the cloud, their reasons tend to focus on outdated concerns about security, compliance and complexity, all of which have largely been resolved.

At one time, questions about cloud security and compliance were justified. After all, data travels to and from the cloud across an Internet connection, and organizations don’t control cloud infrastructure. However, cloud service providers have more security personnel, more expertise and more advanced data protection tools than SMBs. And while cloud adoption used to be a complex process that required specialized expertise, modern cloud migration solutions have made a move to the cloud relatively simple and painless.

Although these two concerns have been addressed, this doesn’t mean a move to the cloud is a slam dunk for all SMBs. Here are a few legitimate reasons why cloud services might not be the best idea.

From a technical perspective, if you’re moving large volumes of data to and from the cloud, performance could be a problem. These problems are more pronounced with geographically dispersed workforces and latency-sensitive applications. For an application such as email, this isn’t an issue. For business-critical applications and data analytics, latency could affect productivity and the user experience. Although cloud providers have tools for reducing delays when transferring large volumes of data, most only address the initial data transfer and don’t completely eliminate delays. The best choice is often to keep certain applications on-premises.

Another common problem is cost control. One of the primary drivers of cloud adoption has always been the ability to reduce costs in terms of on-premises infrastructure and management overhead. However, many SMBs experience cost overruns with their cloud initiatives. Either they don’t fully understand the fees involved, or they don’t have the in-house expertise to keep cloud costs predictable by making good decisions about how and where workloads are hosted.

Finally, organizations that don’t have the oversight and governance to control how employees use cloud resources can run into problems when moving to the cloud. For example, if employees are capable of creating cloud workloads, you could find yourself paying for cloud services you don’t need. The cost of an individual service in one department might seem small, but if a few people in every department start doing this, costs can quickly spiral out of control.

Keep in mind that the cloud is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You can and should be selective about what applications and workloads are moved to the cloud. SSD can determine if an on-premises or cloud-based platform is best for each workload. Let us help you make these strategic decisions and monitor and manage all workloads to maximize performance and control costs.