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What cloud challenges are software companies facing?

by Tech Reporter
5th Jul 23 1:27 pm

There’s no question that the UK is currently going through a period of intense economic instability. With the fallout from Brexit, coupled with the war in Ukraine and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, many organisations up and down the land have seen their budgets squeezed incredibly tightly as inflation remains very high. In fact, almost a fifth of companies say that record inflation in recent months, and other impacts related to the cost-of-living crisis, have had a worse impact on them than Covid-19, according to BDO.  

Due to the unstable economic situation, every penny that businesses are spending has to have sound justification behind it and demonstrate a clear return on investment. Software companies are no exception to this scrutiny on spending and are no more immune to the financial crisis than many other types of business. That said, in order to gain a competitive advantage amid the current economic climate, software firms are increasingly investing in cloud computing, recognising the benefits that doing so can bring for their overall efficiency and profitability.  

However, there are a variety of challenges that software companies are facing in embracing cloud computing that need to be addressed if they are to truly reap the rewards of their investment in the technology.  

Cost concerns 

As more and more companies invest in cloud computing, the task of gaining a competitive advantage through the use of the technology becomes increasingly difficult. Indeed, a report by Service Model predicts that the public cloud computing market will be worth $800 billion by 2025, reflecting the massive uptake of the cloud in recent years. With so many organisations utilising cloud computing, firms must push both the tech – and their investment in it – to the fullest potential.  

However, in their efforts to get the most from the cloud, businesses run the risk of experiencing cost overrun, which could have a hugely detrimental impact on budgets at a time when purse strings are already being tightened. As such, companies face the challenge of balancing the need to optimise their investment in the cloud with the danger of overspending. 

Getting bogged down in operational tasks 

Developers are unquestionably among the most valuable resources to a software company. Not only do developers create apps that help firms answer key customer needs, but they are also constantly on the lookout for new app opportunities in the market.  

Despite the value that they bring to the companies who employ them, developers often become bogged down in operational tasks like running infrastructure, responding to out-of-hours alerts, as well as fixing bugs and broken builds, all of which distract from the most important parts of their role. After all, a survey conducted by Stripe found that, based on feedback from 1,000 developers, 31% of developer time is wasted, which in turn has a negative impact on global GDP to the tune of $300 billion per annum.  

As such, it is in software companies’ best interests to ensure that developers have the support they need to lighten their load, freeing them up to focus on valuable tasks like coding, safe in the knowledge that their infrastructure is secure, and delivers for them. 

Lack of technical support  

Amazon Web Services [AWS] – Amazon.com’s cloud computing service – is the largest cloud service provider globally with more than one million active users across 190 countries. 

Although tens of thousands of firms are now reliant on AWS infrastructure, many often feel that they do not always get the support that they need from Amazon to address the various tech challenges they face. At best, this can be frustrating, but at worst, it could cause a catastrophic incident – such as a cybersecurity attack that leads to widespread customer data loss –incurring a heavy cost for businesses.  

Firms using AWS infrastructure have the right to expect direct access to the expertise they need to get the most out of their investment at all times. After all, Amazon is the biggest cloud provider on the market. However, the very size of Amazon’s share of the market makes it incredibly challenging for the company to support all of its customers in the way it would like to. This is precisely why it has invested in growing an extensive partner network to ensure that  the support companies receive is not only accessible, but it is tailored to their specific needs, so that they can better respond to the various challenges they face.  

Single-point sensitivity 

As companies recruit in-house AWS expertise, they can become overly reliant on the cloud knowledge of just one team member or a small few, depending on the size of the business.  

This reliance can cause problems when team members make a reasonable request for holiday or to take a day off in sickness. Worse still is when these employees decide to move on. This can leave a significant gap in the company’s knowledge of cloud practices and processes. Given this, it is hardly surprising that so many firms invest in outside expertise to ensure that the knowledge that they need is always at hand, even if it isn’t within their in-house team.  

Challenges must be overcome to unlock cloud’s potential 

With the cloud giving software companies the edge that they need to pull away from their competitors amid current financial hardship, clearly the technology is here to stay. If they are to truly get the most from their investment in it, however, firms must overcome the various challenges that they face in implementation. In order do so, they should consider what they might stand to gain from working with managed cloud service providers who can guide them through the optimisation process and enable them to truly discover the potential of cloud computing.

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