Is your network prepared for the cloud?

November 24, 2014

One of the many words that often come up when talking about the benefits of cloud computing is "accessibility." As more enterprises migrate their IT to the cloud, employees can have nearly unfettered access to their workflows and data, promising a great boon to productivity and satisfaction in the BYOD workplace.

Cloud computing certainly does open up new avenues for cutting costs and improving productivity, but it's not as simple as just signing up for service with a cloud provider and reaping the benefits. All of the promise the cloud has is fully dependent on the quality of your network.

How internal network issues adversely impact cloud performance
Accessibility, one of the cardinal virtues of cloud computing, can be torpedoed by network issues such as latency, congestion, down time and other hindrances to performance. As Cloud Computing Admin noted, even if your provider's service is running perfectly, internal network issues can put the benefits of cloud computing out of reach.

This is why it's surprising that many businesses overlook their network's performance when considering cloud enablement. The usefulness of your cloud infrastructure, whether it's private, public or hybrid is wholly dependent on the strength of your network. Cloud Computing Admin reported that a recent research report found that 70 percent of enterprises had to modify or upgrade their network capabilities before they added cloud services to their IT infrastructure. This is problematic when these problems are discovered in the middle of the migration process.

If such a majority of organizations had to make changes to their networks before they migrated some or all of their IT to the cloud, it would behoove others who haven't made the switch yet to prioritize the analysis of their network's performance when planning for cloud enablement.

Cloud security is not just the provider's responsibility – network security is key
When decision makers consider cloud computing solutions, they want to hear about a provider's security measures and protocols. While this is obviously important, it's critical that businesses look at their own network for security flaws. Network security is a key step in making sure a network is prepared to connect to cloud services.

Some potential security measures could be data encryption, one or many firewalls if the company's network is on a LAN and access control among others.

By ensuring that these steps have been taken early on in the migration process, managers in enterprises can ensure the transition to the cloud is a smooth one.