What every small business needs to know about cloud deployment


Oh sure! You’ve heard it before… “Solve all your IT troubles by deploying to the cloud!”

There has been no shortage of attention on the benefits of leveraging the cloud for businesses of all sizes. The cloud is a revolutionary shift in how businesses operate and offer their services—by providing (nearly) limitless resources to anyone. But what happens when deploying to the cloud doesn’t go so smoothly? Whenever a new technology or system is unveiled, there are always organisations that encounter challenges, and the cloud is no exception. When deploying to the cloud, many failures tend to fall into three distinct categories: bad configurations, bad development, and wasteful spending. So what are the potential pitfalls in deploying to the cloud that small businesses should avoid?

Bad Configurations

When things go bad, it’s usually because small businesses are deploying to the cloud incorrectly. Whether it’s due to a lack of familiarity with their options or a misunderstanding of how certain features work, a bad configuration can derail even the best developed systems.

Because of this, many applications are hindered before they are ever deployed and robbed of the very benefits the cloud was supposed to provide. Some common issues include over-powering or under-powering their systems, and failing to plan and implement the right resources to accomplish their business goals.

Bad Development

One of the biggest causes of cloud deployment issues is a lack of knowledge and understanding. Developers may not be familiar with what the cloud is (and isn’t), which can lead to failed deployments and implementations.

Often, developers will “resort to what they know” during a project, foregoing implementing many of the time-saving capabilities the cloud can offer. This can result in project delays, wasted efforts, and a bad cloud solution. By not taking the time to learn the environment, companies can waste hundreds of hours of development working around a problem the cloud was specifically designed to improve.

Wasteful Spending

Even with an infrastructure designed specifically to SAVE money, deploying to the cloud incorrectly can empty a small business’s bank account in a hurry. One of the beauties of the cloud is you only pay for what you use. While this is a great concept for those looking to control their spending, it can lead to disaster for those companies that don’t keep track of things.

With the cloud, you can spin up resources on a whim and deploy applications quickly. The danger comes later when businesses grow and find themselves with scores of servers, databases and files they’ve forgotten about. These zombie resources can quickly eat away at the bottom line and destroy any of the cost savings the cloud has to offer. Bad housekeeping can quickly lead to huge costs as a business exploits the “easy-create, easy-to-deploy” capabilities of the architecture.

And the solution is?

With so many dismal examples, how can a small business make sure their cloud experience is a profitable one? It all starts with learning the tool. Understanding what it has to offer and how it functions is critical for using it properly. Ensuring your developers have a solid understanding of how cloud-based resources impact your existing systems is essential to having a good experience. Lastly, keep track of your stuff! Developing a regular schedule to review your cloud utilization and systems will ensure you aren’t running up costs with unnecessary systems and resources.

The cloud is a world-changing technology with the capabilities to transform nearly every small business. It can improve the way companies think about and use resources by allowing them to focus on their core business, rather than hardware and systems. With the proper research and planning, nearly every small business can benefit from this new architecture and succeed.

Bryan Soltis, Technical Evangelsit, Kentico Software