30 Jan 2023 5 Key Challenges of Cloud Data Transfer in 2023
Many of the most revolutionary technological advances, such as AI, IoT, and remote/hybrid work, have been made possible by the widespread adoption of cloud computing. Cloud computing eliminates the need to purchase and maintain the costly hardware and software systems normally necessary for such resource-intensive programs. Instead, providers host it in their own data centres and offer it “as a service” to their customers.
The rate at which data is being transferred to the cloud is intensifying. As more businesses use cloud computing, we also hear more horror stories about botched transfers. Because of the difficulties involved in transitioning from on-premises to the cloud, 90% of CIOs’ data migration efforts either fail or are disrupted.
As businesses are increasingly adopting a multi-cloud approach, data transfers will become an essential part of cloud migration planning and implementation. However, businesses should be aware of the following key challenges and act proactively to address them.
“Adopting a cloud strategy requires thorough planning to avoid business disruption.”
Funso Richard | Information Security Officer
Have visibility into what is transferred
The most difficult part of a cloud data transfer is taking stock of all the on-premises data you have. When planning a data migration, the first question to address is “Migrate what?”
A well-organized, unified repository where you can automatically discover anything that is running would be ideal. Yet, this is rarely the case. This is typically a labor-intensive, in-house process that draws heavily on tribal wisdom and information gathered through crowdsourcing. Essentially, it involves querying every group responsible for processing data jobs about their current workload.
Separating what you have from what you’re actually using is crucial. The most apparent comparison is moving from one home to another; as time passes, you amass a lot of useless possessions, and there’s no reason to bring them with you.
Feasibility of moving data to the cloud
After compiling a complete inventory of your on-premises resources, you may begin to prioritize which ones to move. Unfortunately, cloud computing isn’t a good fit for every application. However, it is not easy to determine which workloads may be moved to the cloud and which cannot. When deciding if a workload should be moved to the cloud, it is common practice to give the decision considerable thought and testing.
“Moving data to the cloud is more of a business decision than an IT process. Though IT owns the underlying technology, there are business implications that must be considered prior to data migration. A key consideration is the business need.”
Funso Richard | Information Security Officer
Define a migration strategy
After deciding whether or not to migrate a certain data workload, you must carefully prioritize the jobs to be migrated to the cloud, taking into account factors such as cost and business feasibility. Interdependencies between business processes are intricate and difficult to disentangle.
“For managed file transfer (MFT) to work effectively, the organization must understand what data it holds, and how it is used. Once this is understood, then a strategy to implement MFT must be developed and communicated to the whole business, because the likelihood is that all areas of the business need to be considered.”
Gary Hibberd | Security Consultant
Tweak data for the cloud
After workloads have been moved to the cloud, they must be optimized for the new setting. It’s impossible to use anything straight from the box. Cloud computing presents a number of challenges for achieving optimal performance.
“When you migrate services to the cloud, you need to be mindful of risk, security, and performance. If by moving to the cloud, the system performs poorly or has timeout issues, this could cause your customers and users of that service to not use it, or in the worst case, find alternate means of copying files.”
Ray Sutton | Technical Consultant
Security and Compliance
There are many benefits to moving to the cloud, such as increased efficiency and reduced overhead, but doing so also opens up businesses and organizations to new cybersecurity risks. Furthermore, the possibility of fines or (even worse) losing the trust of customers is a genuine worry due to the growing pile of legislation around how businesses can hold and use personal data.
“Data security – at rest and in transit – along with compliance, are at the top of the list. There should be no chance that the introduction of a cloud-managed file solution would lead to legal, regulatory, or any compliance non-conformities.”
Soulos Panagiotis | Global Information Security Manager
How to remedy these challenges
Various protocols and methods exist for exchanging information with clients and business associates; each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. It can be difficult to manage, maintain, and stay compliant with so many different data-sharing approaches. However, it is possible to transfer files between on-premises and cloud-based systems, as well as between cloud-based and hybrid systems, with the help of a centralized Secure File Transfer solution.
A solution like this would encrypt data at rest and in transit, as well as provide a role-based security framework for logging in and gaining access to the system for both users and administrators. As a result, businesses can automate and simplify the transfer of sensitive information while still meeting all regulatory requirements.
A company’s security should be its first priority whether it is just starting out in the cloud or has a well-established presence there. Safeguarding data from online intrusion is only part of what constitutes security. Data is neither a fixed thing nor confined to one place. For the sake of the company, it must be in motion. Never undervalue a managed file transfer service.
Our eBook on Managed File Transfer features insights from industry experts to help your business thrive and grow, securely, in the cloud.