Cloud Risks: Learn Before You Earn

Cloud Risks: Learn Before You Earn

We’ve shared a number of features recently extolling the virtues of cloud to the recurring revenue potential of the ModernMSP. But, lest you think we’re giving unfair representation to the benefits of cloud, we’ve compiled a list we’re calling Cloud Risks to Learn Before You Earn.

Because we’re based in the Seattle area, and in honor of the Seahawks dominating the 49ers on Sunday (sorry, 49ers fans…), we’ve picked 12 of them. To be clear, “risks” is a pretty weighty term. Rather, these are 12 considerations—things that, if addressed prior to cloud adoption, can help minimize the challenges of moving data and operations to the cloud. But “risks” just sounds more, well, dramatic.

Challenges on the road to the cloud

In a recent article about the steps to cloud adoption, we mentioned the importance of acknowledging the complexities of moving to the cloud. Let’s dig into this a little deeper.



  • Location of Data – Yes, it’s the big, ambiguous cloud, but the data resides somewhere. Know the location of your data and the privacy and security laws for this location.





  • Cloud Environment – You don’t have to be an expert, but it’s worth knowing the environment, controls, replication, updates, etc.





  • Service Level Agreement – You need to understand your obligations as well as those of your cloud provider. This might impact your configurations.





  • Regulatory Compliance – Even with data in the cloud, you’re still accountable to your customers for security and integrity. Know the standards and procedures to help mitigate risk.





  • Data Migration – Know up front how your vendors handle data migrations to make data portable and recoverable in the new infrastructure.





  • Data Privacy – Hosting data in the cloud reduces your direct control to some extent, so understand who has access to your data and how.





  • Data Security – It’s good to familiarize yourself with the physical and logical controls used by your provider to keep data secure.





  • Business Continuity – The internet goes down and we all panic. It happens. Make a plan for how you’ll deal with a possible internet outage.





  • Disaster Recovery – Be sure that, if disaster strikes, you’ve created a plan to keep things moving. Think about your recovery time objectives so that they are compliant with your customers’ objectives.





  • Records Retention – If you’re subject to records requests, check into how your provider handles your needs.





  • Provider Lockdown – There may come a time when your provider no longer meets your requirements. How would you move your data? In other words, what’s your backup backup plan?





  • Open Mind – Keep one. Cloud is ever-advancing, so the most successful MSPs will be those who are open to new capabilities and opportunities.



Now, take a moment to shake off any undue paranoia about the cloud—the benefits still outweigh the risks, especially when you plan ahead.

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