Six Common Cloud Challenges Felt Across Industries

reasons small business should move to the cloud

Rackspace has always been fanatically obsessed with improving our customers’ outcomes.

In 2018, that meant a new focus on understanding the needs of customers in specific industries. We hired industry experts to better meet the unique regulatory, governance and operational needs in financial services, federal, state and local government, healthcare and retail to help Rackspace develop solutions to their specific business challenges.

As we created these vertical solutions, we found these industries also face several common challenges. Those include decisions about when, how and how much to move out of on-premise data centers; choosing, migrating and managing multiple clouds and how to secure and best utilize ever-growing data stores.

So, as we close out a year of continued growth, innovation and transformation for our customers, we wanted to share some of the most common challenges our customers face, and how we’re solving them.

Exiting the data center

By 2025 nearly 80 percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers, according to Dave Cuppuccio with Gartner. Between the necessary real estate, computing hardware, software and security controls, data centers are a major capital investment. While this might have once been the “price of admission” for most businesses, there are now more agile infrastructure options available to customers.

However, the transition out of the data center can be difficult to plan, time-consuming to execute and can overburden in-house IT teams. Our best-practices approach to breaking free of the data center was developed from extensive experience with thousands of deployments across industries. We meet you where you are by conducting assessments, help you design your future state, and then plan, coordinate and execute migrations, and secure your end-state environment.

[Read more: Data Centers on Life Support:Healthcare Realizing Digital Transformation]

Moving from the data center leads to the next common challenge…

Moving to the cloud

Despite the well-known advantages of elasticity, scalability, security and cost-effectiveness, the challenges associated with the cloud adoption process are still a great concern for many of our customers. Determining application readiness, identifying the ideal platform(s) on which to run them and keeping an eye on the ever-changing landscape of cloud services and features each require careful consideration.

These challenges are so prevalent that traditional managed service providers have been unable to keep up. Enter the next generation managed service provider, which dives deeper into customer needs and pain points in order to craft a bespoke, often multi-cloud solution that offers best fit for each and every application.

[Read more: Government is Finally Modernizing; Are You Ready?]

And that takes us to…

Outsourcing IT

Managing IT tools and services in-house can seem like an easy way to save money, but as businesses grow and technologies evolve, continuing to manage, re-design and integrate complex infrastructure can lead to expensive problems for businesses. The staffing and training requirements to maintain a comprehensive IT team while still keeping focus on innovation can become cost prohibitive.

Partnering with a next gen provider like Rackspace offers access to certified experts who’ve managed every aspect of customer IT solutions, from application support to the orchestration of automated processes and implementation of continuous security. As an added benefit, providers that meet specific compliance standards allow you to outsource some of your regulatory liabilities as well. For example, Rackspace adheres to the following information security standards – ISO 27001, PCI, SSAE1, SOC, US-EU Privacy Shield, CPS, HIPAA, FedRAMP, FISMA and DFARS.

[Read more: The True Cost of Self Compliance for SLED Organizations]

Outsourcing has another valuable benefit…

Controlling IT spend

Customers across industries are looking for cost-reduction opportunities to help keep their IT spend from undermining profits or cutting into core business expenditures. Balancing the need to reduce IT costs without cutting skilled resources or impacting customer service is difficult.

Rackspace has designed cost optimization services to combat this challenge. Services include feature resource tagging, budgeting services and spend reporting. We proactively identify idle, unused, misaligned and out-of-date resources and remediate as necessary. This allows organizations to spend smarter, focusing IT dollars on their differentiating secret sauce.

[Read more: Maintaining Cost Efficiency in Financial Services: Innovation vs. Operations]

Spending smart brings us to the next challenge…

Modernizing apps

Another common pain point is the need for multi-cloud, multi-vendor support. Our customers have told us loud and clear: I want to bring my applications with me to the cloud; I want to use what I have and know.

Nobody wants to be forced to change the tools they’ve been using to run their business just because they’re not compatible with a specific platform. What they want is the ability to run current applications in a new environment.

Figuring out which apps need to be re-factored or re-platformed, and which may work better as a service, requires the integrated effort of a diverse army of experts. Rackspace has the resources, not to mention the partnerships with key providers, to migrate and deploy each and every app for optimal performance.

[Read more: Process First. Technology Second®”: Partner with Rackspace for Application Modernization]

Which brings us to the final common challenge…

Securing and storing data

No list of common challenges would be complete without discussing data security and storage. While we see some cross-industry diversity among specific storage and security regulatory standards, customers are consistent in their commitment to protecting their mission critical data, personally identifiable information, and intellectual property.

Rackspace can help implement controls and processes and help educate internal teams so they understand the power they have to stay in control. We know the stakes are high: data breaches can destroy reputations and businesses. This is why Rackspace’s approach to security is to integrate it at every level of your solution at all stages of its lifecycle.

[Read more: The Dark Side of Data: Impacts of Innovation on Cybersecurity]


If your organization is experiencing any of these common challenges, please reach out. We have specialized experts in financial services, retail, healthcare, federal government and state and local government who can help with your industry’s unique challenges, or with one of the common challenges above. 

Joni Williamson joined Rackspace in 2018 to build the financial services solutions group. With extensive IT experience and a focus on meeting the needs of diverse client teams and executive strategies, Joni brings a strong vision and strategy to the company. Prior to joining Rackspace, Joni worked in IBM’s Cloud division, managing the Financial Services relationships for North America. Before that she spent 12 years at Bank of America, focused on reducing IT complexity, increasing automation, lowering the overall costs of IT and building diverse teams to handle complex transformations. That work has given her a broad vision of IT for financial services and a practical understanding of how best to address concerns across people, process and technology. In addition to her experience, Joni is a Master of Managed Change, and holds ITIL, Design Thinking, Project Management Professional, and Six Sigma Master Black Belt certifications.

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