Cloud backup and related applications bring with them a number of challenges and opportunities.  The challenges may be technical and organizational. The resolution of these challenges will determine how well Cloud computing is received by the organization and how useful the product is to the growth of the business.

Cloud computing experts have noted that there are six major challenges that need to be tackled before the organization can derive complete satisfaction from migrating to Cloud backup and Cloud computing. Let us discuss the first three challenges in this Part I post.

The first area of concern is security. How secure is the enterprise data in the Cloud backup?  Who can access the data? Can the Cloud service provider share the data with sister concerns and others associated with it? What about data breaches? Can the Cloud backup service provider be held responsible? What are the legal implications of entrusting data to third parties to a transaction? And so on …

The fact that large banking organizations have implemented Cloud backup and Cloud based solutions is an indication that security concerns can be addresses and is being addressed adequately enough to gain their confidence.  The reality is that many Cloud backup service providers offer end to end security and privacy protection. They even claim that the security is superior to data protection mores of single data centers. The security protocol is multi-layered so that hackers and cyber criminals have to break through several barriers before they can get to the organizational data store.

The second major challenge of Cloud computing is data.  Where will the data be located? How will it comply with extant legislations? How will it integrate with a variety of applications that deliver the information to the end user? If the organization is subscribing to more than one Cloud backup service provider or have some of the data stored in on premise data servers, how do the different fragments of data link up for effective delivery?  These challenges are being vociferously discussed and a number of solutions have emerged for standardization and portability of information across Cloud backup services.

The third major challenge of the Cloud is execution and enforcement of service level guarantees. Organizations require a certain level of service. Will the Cloud backup service provider have the facility to provide it? What is the uptime guarantee offered? What is the recovery time objective (RTO) promised?  Organizations will have to read and enforce the clauses of the service level agreements (SLA) if they want satisfaction from their Cloud backup venture.

[This article is to be continued in the second part—Challenges of Cloud computing—Part II]