Illustration by Tom McKeith

Cloud computing gets a lot of hype, so some may not consider the hidden costs associated with a move to the cloud. There are five hidden dangers associated with cloud technology that IT managers should consider, according to a white paper released by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

The paper, which offers a detailed analysis of potential benefits and costs associated with the technology, suggests not buying into the hype before looking at the hidden costs and making a detailed economic plan first. “Users who have been in IT for a long time know that, no matter what new innovation comes along, the challenges of managing IT (e.g., security, cost, complexity) never go away — they just take on new (and sometimes dangerous) forms,” the paper reads.

The five hidden dangers of cloud computing are:

  • the cost of being forced off the cloud due to a regulatory change such as stricter data privacy laws;
  • the cost of implementing and operating countermeasures to mitigate risk;
  • unexpected expenses involved in initial migration of systems;
  • loss of internal IT knowledge; and
  • lock-in with a specific cloud provider or proprietary service model, which may slow down future adoption of open standards-based services.

“Before deciding which cloud model to adopt, the enterprise must baseline the current cost to run the existing infrastructure or single system,” the paper reads. “This step is essential in deciding if cloud computing is suitable for the business and to calculate the economic and strategic return of the investment.”

To read the full white paper, visit the ISACA website.