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Cloud Service Development: Major Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Cloud computing has evolved a lot over the years: as more companies want to reduce cost spending, they start turning to cloud-based services. So far, the most common cloud offerings are IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. While they let your enterprise focus on core business needs, cloud services still have some disadvantages and pitfalls you have to watch out for. Keep reading to learn how to avoid them.

What’s all the fuss about?

Before we dive into it, let’s remind ourselves what cloud service is in general: it’s a type of service that is available for users on demand online from a cloud computing provider’s servers. Cloud services provide scalable and straightforward access to resources, applications and services that are managed by a cloud services provider.

Consequently, there’s no need for companies to deploy their resources or allocate the IT staff to manage these services.

Types of cloud computing services:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the foundation of cloud computing. IaaS includes such services as storage, backup and security. It gives businesses access to vital web architecture. The most famous example of IaaS is Amazon Web Services. The IaaS model caters to businesses’ basic need for flexibility, scalability and reliability. As a result, an online business has a chance to grow and develop on demand.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the next layer of the cloud. This type of cloud development service uses software and infrastructure frameworks offered by cloud service providers. Some of the examples of PaaS include Google App Engine, Force.com from Salesforce and Microsoft Azure. The most significant benefit of PaaS is that it gives you a chance to initiate your application with very little money and no stress.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) is a type of cloud computing service that you usually rent on a per-user/per-month basis. It lets you cut back on burdens of operations, support and maintenance by leveraging the cloud for software architecture. Gmail, Google Apps, Salesforce are among the examples of SaaS. That said, it can be an excellent tool for CRM and apps that require extensive web or mobile access.

8 Major Cloud Computing Traps
Apart from all the good that cloud computing technologies have brought us, you should clearly understand the key challenges you might face when dealing with cloud-based infrastructures.

Cloud Service Development

Data Security and Privacy

These are some of the most troubling concerns when it comes to cloud computing because its architecture doesn’t provide automatic security compliance for the end-user. It means that application designers have to make sure apps written for the cloud are secure initially.

Of course, cloud vendors do take some responsibility, but the main part lies on those who develop apps. Plus, you should always remember that some critical services are usually outsourced to a third party, which makes it even more complicated to maintain data privacy and integrity.

How to avoid it:
Choose a vendor with proper expertise and infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted cloud service. Also, before engaging with any cloud service provider, always check their cloud-based security policies.

Cloud Service Development

Vulnerability to Attacks

In cloud service development, all components are online. Even if you’re absolutely sure that your security team is the best, you’re still prone to attacks and breaches. Cloud computing is built as a public service, so, basically, anyone with a valid credit card can use it.

How to avoid it:
Keep all your teams aware of the latest cloud security best practices. Review and change the access keys and credentials. Prevent data exfiltration.

Cloud Service Development

Downtime

Unfortunately, service outages are pretty frequent for internet-based systems due to various reasons. That’s why you should ask yourself if your business can afford a slowdown and how much it will cost you if that happens. Some companies lost millions because of outages, so always play it safe.

How to avoid it:
Make sure you define and implement a disaster recovery plan. Plus, try leveraging multi-availability zones provided by the chosen cloud vendors in your infrastructure.

Cloud Service Development

Client misunderstanding

Although everyone seems to understand what the cloud is and how it works, people often forget that just like any other technology, it’s evolving every day. It means that the cloud isn’t just a big server cluster anymore. That’s why there is a lot of misunderstanding about how easy it is to move from one type of infrastructure to another and how public and private clouds coexist.

How to avoid it:
Provide your customers with full information and real-world examples of what is possible and what is not. This way, they won’t build unreal expectations and what’s more, they won’t blame you for not meeting them.

Cloud Service Development

Integration Complexities

Along with having cloud-based applications, most enterprises still have a lot of on-premise applications. Sooner or later, you’ll need to connect some of them, and you’ll discover that quite a few of them have complex integration needs.

How to avoid it:
Before opting for any cloud services, first, analyze how difficult it’ll be to integrate your existing applications and how much effort it’ll take.

Cloud Service Development

Limited Reliability and Flexibility

Service providers entirely own, manage and monitor the cloud infrastructure, and, usually, customers have very little control over it.

Some users might think they have even less control over the function and execution of services. Sometimes it’s due to the EULA (end-user license agreement) that limits what customers can do with their deployments. So, they still have a hold of their data, services and applications, but not the back-end infrastructure.

How to avoid it:
Make sure you clearly understand your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your cloud vendor. It will help you avoid errors. Carefully study the service level agreement (SLA). Also, you can consider using a service provider partner to help you implement, run and support cloud services.

Cloud Service Development

Bandwidth Cost

Even though it might seem like your business is saving money, delivering sophisticated and intensive data over the network still requires sufficient bandwidth. That is why many companies are waiting to reduce costs before they can switch to cloud services.

How to avoid it:
Until you’re sure what will work best for your business, try different offerings and experiment. Also, it’s a good idea to create alerts for cloud spendings.

Cloud Service Development

Dependency on Service Providers

Switching between different cloud providers might not be the easiest thing yet. Thus, a lot of companies find themselves locked in with a particular vendor. Plus, there’s a big chance you’ll expose your data while migrating from one vendor to another.

How to avoid it:
Build your services following the best cloud architecture practices. It’ll make it easier for you to move from one platform to another. Also, prevent lock-in challenges by adequately understanding what your cloud service provider is selling.

Bottom line

Cloud Service Development and Cloud computing isn’t the future anymore – it’s our reality. A lot of organizations use cloud computing services to scale their business and reach highest levels of agility. However, just like with any other infrastructure service, you should fully understand the challenges cloud computing brings. That said, before opting for any services, assess how the cloud will affect your business, run a thorough research and only then slowly start moving toward becoming a fully cloud-based enterprise.

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