In business, as in many other areas of life, our decisions often have unexpected consequences. If you live in Europe, you’ve probably been inundated recently with emails asking you if you wish to carry on receiving communications from this or that company.

If you don’t answer ‘yes’, the sender will scrub you from their mailing list. This isn’t something they planned to do. But the law has changed and if they don’t give you this extra chance to opt in they run the risk of substantial fines.

Things were fine. And then the world changed, and they were no longer fine. It’s so often the case. Take, for instance, cloud migration. Many businesses are currently in the process of migrating critical functions to the cloud.

This makes sense, in many ways. Using the cloud gives companies access to the latest technology, without upfront costs. It lets companies adopt best-in-class applications, even for niche functions. It allows them to integrate their workflows with automated online systems in a way that would be prohibitively expensive to do in-house. And all these benefits are good for company morale.

But have these companies considered the unforeseen consequences that can come with cloud migrations? And if they haven’t, are they going to regret it?

Six risks of cloud adoption

Moving business-critical functions to the cloud comes with the potential for significant unforeseen risks. These may arise because of the actions — or inaction – of the cloud provider itself or simply because the technical or legal ground shifts under client and provider alike.

This is particularly the case, when cloud adoption happens organically, because employees sign up to SaaS services without clearing them first, something that is far more common than many businesses realise.

Here are six of the most common cloud risks that could hurt your company:

1. Security issues: SaaS providers may not have the same security policies as the client. For instance, password policies may be laxer, rules around data-sharing may be less strict. This can expose the client to regulatory or legal risks.

2. Lock in: users sign up to a service that meets their immediate need but turns out not to be best value for the business. Unfortunately, by the time someone realises this the app is already embedded in so many projects that it’s almost impossible to ditch it for a better alternative.

3. Platform reliability: if a platform is assessed only on the functions it provides, businesses may miss critical issues around stability and business continuity. These often only become evident when there is a problem and by then it can be too late.

4. Costs: applications that are free to end users may become very expensive quickly when used in a business. This is the kind of licensing detail which often goes unnoticed, particularly in unplanned adoptions by end users, until an unexpected bill arrives.

5. Duplication: with unplanned adoption, there’s every chance that one team will choose one app for a function while another team chooses one of its competitors. This creates inefficiencies and potential operational problems.

6. Churn: with unplanned cloud adoptions, you risk users hopping from one SaaS application to the next, leaving a trail of half-forgotten subscriptions and cloud-stored company data behind them. That’s bad operationally and poses a legal and compliance risk.

To protect yourself against these and other risks associated with cloud migrations and unplanned cloud adoptions, you need a way to continuously and in real-time monitor your network to see which cloud apps your employees are using.

Ampliphae is a non-intrusive, affordable solution that continuously monitors your network to discover cloud apps in near to real time. It can tell you exactly who is using which cloud service, warn you if you’re about to cross a licensing threshold, and warn you in advance.

To find out what else Ampliphae can do and how it can help you get the best out of the cloud while avoiding the risks, get in touch today.