Top 3 Cloud Adoption Challenges and How to Overcome Them

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for cloud adoption as more businesses transitioned to remote and hybrid work environments. Acceleration is ongoing. In fact, 68% of CIOs surveyed in March of this year said that cloud services would become a bigger priority in 2021.

In the first part of 2020, global cloud spending increased by 37%. Gartner forecasts cloud spending to grow by 18.4% in 2021, reaching $304.9 billion by the end of the year, based on the prediction that businesses will increasingly leverage the cloud to continue to support remote and hybrid work.

A new research report reveals that 87% of IT decision makers say their organizations are rethinking IT investments for 2022 and beyond. However, challenges lie in the way of cloud adoption, with 82% of organizations citing a lack of cloud readiness as a major barrier to their digital business transformation efforts.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why cloud adoption is on the rise, the biggest hurdles of adoption, and what steps organizations can take to overcome these challenges.

Benefits of Cloud Adoption

First, let’s take a look at four key benefits of cloud adoption:

Top 3 Cloud Adoption Challenges

Despite the many benefits of cloud adoption, making the shift can present challenges for organizations. Let’s look at three of the most common challenges.

1. Perceived Lack of Security

The biggest security challenge when it comes to the cloud is the perception of reduced security. Approximately 66% of IT professionals consider security to be a major challenge to cloud adoption.

However, making the shift to the cloud can actually increase organizational security, rather than decrease it. This is because many larger cloud service providers have the resources to invest in more robust security than organizations can, making their service a secure and reliable choice. Examples of these security features include top-of-the-line perimeter firewalls, intrusion detection systems, internal firewalls for individual applications and databases, and data-at-rest encryption.

In addition, cloud providers also ensure the physical hardware used to run a cloud system is secured. This is done by implementing Tier IV datacenters that help protect cloud environments by restricting access to the physical systems that run the cloud environment.

These measures include armed security patrols, controlled access checkpoints with biometric security controls, and 24/7 closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring.

2. Lack of Talent to Manage Cloud Services

LinkedIn rates cloud computing as the most sought-after tech skill, along with artificial intelligence and big data.

A report by Gartner found that talent shortages are a significant challenge for the successful adoption of emerging technologies like cloud computing. For example, 64% of survey respondents reported that skilled worker availability is the largest challenge, compared to 4% in 2020 and 14% in 2019.

This lack of skilled workers means that many businesses are pulling back or slowing down when it comes to building and deploying new cloud technology, which in turn hinders cloud adoption and can stunt business growth.

Also, more companies are adopting adopting multi-cloud deployments. One report found that 92% of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy in place or underway, using 2.6 public and 2.7 private clouds, on average. Adoption rates are projected to increase in the future.

As such, companies need to ensure they have employees with the right level of cloud computing skills in place prior to investing in new technologies so they can ensure that implementation and usage of cloud technology goes smoothly.

A Forrester report found that 34% of businesses plan to retrain staff members so they can migrate to the cloud, while 29% of businesses plan to recruit new staff that already have cloud experience.

3. Fear of Vendor Lock-In

Many IT departments are concerned that, once they choose a cloud vendor, they will be locked in with that provider.

Globally, the costs of cloud services have been decreasing to the point where the cost is cut in half every 18 months or so. This is also known as Bezos Law, which was initially a prediction that has since proven to be true.

This cost trend is cause for additional concern among organizations. If the cost of cloud services continues to decrease over the course of a contract, no company wants to be locked in with an uncompetitive vendor.

There is also the worry that once organizations are ready to scale, this may be difficult if they’re tied to a current cloud provider that can’t meet their needs.

Other potential consequences of vendor lock-in include:

3 Ways to Overcome Cloud Adoption Challenges

However big these challenges may seem, there are many ways for businesses to overcome them. In this section, we’ll highlight three ways your organization can overcome cloud adoption challenges in order to successfully implement new technology solutions.

1. Implement a Multi-Cloud or Hybrid Approach

To combat the challenge of getting locked in with the same cloud vendor, companies can choose a multi-cloud or hybrid approach.

A multi-cloud approach uses multiple cloud instances or vendors. The benefits of a multi-cloud approach include:

A hybrid approach uses both on-premises and cloud vendors/systems. Using this approach has become central to digital transformation efforts among organizations since it can help enhance speed and scalability, improve quality, and reduce costs.

The benefits of a hybrid approach include:

2. Take a Phased Approach

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when deciding to move your entire organization to the cloud. The good thing about cloud adoption is that you can always start small.

For example, you can move one of your systems to the cloud first, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) solution, followed by your enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, etc. This enables you to see how things go before proceeding with further transitions.

Once satisfied with the results, you can move more solutions and data to the cloud, or even decide if you want to embrace a multi-cloud model, a public cloud model, a private cloud model, or a hybrid model.

A key benefit of transitioning in phases is that you can always modify your approach to meet the needs of your business. For example, you may decide to start with a public cloud model, but then decide it would be best for your business to move to a private cloud for an enhanced degree of control.

3. Develop a Cloud Center of Excellence within Your Organization

In the Annual Global CEO Survey conducted by PwC, one of the top 15 business threats identified by CEOs in 2020 was the availability of key skills, cited by 32% of respondents.

One way to expand current employees’ cloud skills is by developing a cloud center of excellence within your business. This team is responsible for researching cloud options, choosing the right model for your business, and implementing and managing cloud solutions.

Creating this team can help your organization identify which current employees possess the most knowledge about cloud computing so they can form the basis of the team. Depending on how many knowledgeable staff members you have, you can make the decision to hire more external workers skilled in cloud computing or leave the team as is.

Once this center of excellence is in place, you can have members train other staff members, hire additional employees, or a combination of both, depending on your business needs.

Make a Seamless Transition to the Cloud with Parallels RAS

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a streamlined remote working solution that provides secure access to virtual desktops and applications to any end-user device, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more, on any OS.

Additional benefits of Parallels RAS include:

Learn how Parallels RAS can help your organization transition to the cloud by watching our free on-demand demo.