So, your business is “in the cloud.” You’re happy with your choice of cloud provider, you’ve migrated the necessary components, and everything is running smoothly. But, is everything being covered?
As cloud service offerings continue to become more mature, reliable, and cost effective, one of the biggest challenges will be at the organizational level. Although the services are not in your office anymore, are you sure your provider is constantly managing, monitoring, securing, and supporting the cloud application? The effort and/or cost may be reduced, but won’t disappear completely. Check out our list of questions that you should ask (and be able to answer) after your business has shifted to the cloud:
1. Is your infrastructure being managed and maintained?
When your business utilizes the cloud through new services, you should have a clear picture of what elements of your infrastructure you are responsible for and what elements are the responsibility of the cloud provider. Are you responsible for any infrastructure updates/maintenance or is that solely on your provider? Periodically reviewing your SLAs helps ensure that your cloud provider is held accountable.
2. Is your cloud security being managed?
Security is an ever-changing landscape, and cloud security is critical to protecting your business. Are your cloud solutions receiving all the security updates needed to remain secure? Is someone within your organization managing cloud policy and compliance requirements that your business needs to uphold?
3. Are your cloud end-users receiving support?
When end-users are having an issue accessing their data or cloud-based application, to whom do they reach out for assistance? Does that fall under your internal IT team or is the provider the first line of defense?
4. Is your cloud being monitored?
An important factor to consider with the cloud is monitoring. Is your network being monitored to ensure there are no issues? Is someone responsible for providing reporting on server uptime and downtime, hard disk space, and critical services? The findings from monitoring and reports should then be used to find ways to best optimize your cloud solution.
5. Are your internal policies and procedures being updated?
Cloud-based applications are everywhere, and it is easy for employees to bypass their IT department to download software. This means there is probably already company data on such cloud-applications as Dropbox and iCloud that your IT department neither knows about nor has access to. Who in your organization is responsible for “cloud ready-ing” policies and procedures to ensure company data remains secure and that compliance goals are met?
Cloud management is a complex entity, but needs to be carefully discussed and planned out so that your business can continue running smoothly. Need assistance with cloud management? Contact us today and we will work with you on creating a comprehensive cloud management plan.