Companies must adopt cloud cautiously to avoid potential pitfalls

Companies are flocking to providers of cloud computing technology, eager to embrace the benefits that cloud-based CRM and ERP can bring to their businesses. Streamlined operations, easier sharing of data and improved mobility for on-the-go workers are just a few of the benefits that corporate IT officials can expect once their cloud transitions are complete.

It’s important, however, that businesses not rush into the cloud without first making sure they’ve planned their integration process carefully. A poorly designed cloud infrastructure might provide far more headaches than benefits, so IT officials must be sure to draw up thorough blueprints for their cloud projects before getting to work.

Here are two key pitfalls that managers must avoid when venturing into the cloud.

Failure to integrate across all platforms
InfoWorld notes that one major problem the cloud can exacerbate is fragmentation of IT. Every department of a company wants to employ more tech solutions so they can gather data quickly and perform advanced analytics to improve their operations, but if a large corporation implements one system in one department and another in another, it might be a logistical nightmare.

Eric Knorr, editor in chief of InfoWorld, recently wrote about this problem as it relates to cloud integration.

“In the days before enterprise application integration, duplicate yet slightly different records about the same products and customers were scattered in isolated data stores, often serving a single app, and were seldom reconciled,” Knorr wrote. “Processes stayed within their silos. The left hand didn’t know what the right was doing.”

In order to avoid this problem in the future, IT managers must perform the necessary groundwork to make sure information is shared across all relevant departments using the same platforms and applications, making the company-wide sharing as seamless a process as possible.

Neglecting important security safeguards
Cloud security is another important concern. Knorr cites one specific problem in this regard – if an employee is fired or leaves a company, he or she might still be able to access corporate data through the cloud, which could potentially be damaging to future operations. Other intruders, like one-time contractors or hackers who sneak into corporate networks, might pose threats.

The SANS Institute notes that the loss of hands-on control is one inherent problem for many administrators who begin using the cloud. Security professionals must carefully draw up service agreements that make sure no information is unsafely shared with outsiders.

The cloud can be a tremendous boon to business, but it must be implemented wisely. BMI can help companies ensure that their initiatives succeed.