Taming the Dark Side of the Cloud
How to maintain security, business continuity and data sovereignty — a strategic challenge
If you think this is an article for IT professionals and not business managers, you are wrong. It has massive implications for the entire enterprise. That’s why I have tried to make it readable for non-IT pros.
In my last article, I showed that with the immense benefits of cloud computing come risks. Products that depend on them can become completely unusable, and companies that rely on cloud-based services can grind to a complete halt when the cloud fails.
To be clear, these are rare events. In general, cloud services monitor and optimize themselves, preventing failures. Statistically, they are much more reliable than any self-hosted solution. Nevertheless, rare events can also occur, as the example of VanMoof shows.
A variety of risks
The more we rely on cloud services, the more vulnerable we are to risk. Let’s just consider the risks that arise when a service fails or becomes unavailable due to natural disasters, wars, interrupted internet connections, hardware failures, provider insolvency, malware, and attacks.
- Loss of Control: This will be dramatically felt in any case when a cloud service goes down, and is one of the situations that any management will try to avoid at all costs.
- Disruption of operations: It is probably one of the most serious impacts when operations cease. The financial impact will vary from industry to industry, but it will be significant.
- Data inconsistency: Systems will most likely have relevant data falling through the cracks. In the worst case, existing data will be destroyed.
- Customer dissatisfaction and loss: If customers are affected, it will not be without consequences for customer satisfaction and retention.
- Liabilities: Obligations to customers may not be met or not met in full.
- Negative press and public image: The situation can also lead to a communications disaster.
- Increased workload: Coping with and recovering from the situation will keep many people…