In the previous article “The Challenges of Cloud computing—Part I”, three great challenges have been examined—namely the challenge of security, data integration and portability and the enforcement of service level agreements. We continue examining three more major challenges in this article.

The fourth biggest challenge of Cloud computing is “How does one deal with legacy systems?” Legacy systems cannot be discarded, archived if they are in active use in the business. They have to be migrated to the Cloud if the entire process of migration has to be meaningful. But, legacy systems do not integrate well with the Cloud and Cloud infrastructures do not support their migration. Most often, the migration of the legacy system will require complete redesign of the software so that it can fit in with the virtualization and parallelization concepts that are natural to Cloud applications. The implication is that a large part of the organizations data will remain outside the ambit of the Cloud backup.

The fifth challenge is–How does one translate existing licensing patterns to the Cloud?  This is a challenge that must be carefully examined. Traditional licensing was based on named users, CPUs and other similar metrics. The elastic nature of the Cloud and the process of virtualization results in a number of complications.  Software vendors need to define a new licensing model. The model must address any issues of portability, virtualization and other similar factors. For instance, software may have to be licensed on per hour or per hour of usage basis. Upgrades and support will have to be re-engineered to suit the new environment.

The sixth challenge is implementation. Implementing the Cloud backup service and related applications within the organization is a challenge that cannot be ignored. The sticking point is reached the moment the organization begins to grapple with the actual implementation of Cloud technologies as employees faced with a new method of access begin to resist the change. The realities on the ground often do not match up with the employee expectations and there is a lot of engineering and reengineering that needs to be done before a satisfactory level of Cloud implementation can be reached. For instance, questions around rights and privileges or the use of BYOD will have to be answered before employees begin to see the benefits of the Cloud backup and access protocols.

However, the power of the Cloud should not be lost sight of. Organizational focus on the challenges is healthy, but the opportunities presented by the Cloud are too innumerable to be ignored. Organizations must consciously gear themselves up to meet the challenges and overcome them.