The emergence of the cloud has made designing, developing and deploying applications easier for organizations and developers, but understanding the benefits isn’t always simple. With so many options and promises, it is difficult to know which cloud provider to trust. Kony’s Burley Kawasaki, senior vice president of products, has provided seven of the most common mistakes he sees in cloud-based mobility, and how to avoid them.

1. Poor connections to back-end data
Traditionally an organization’s data has been saved on premise, but as more apps are moving to the cloud, a new architecture of storing information that is secure and easily accessible is needed.

“A lot of systems really were never meant to be accessed from hundreds of thousands of devices from anywhere around the globe,” said Kawasaki.

To address this problem, organizations have tried creating duplicates of their data in the cloud, but this has led to inefficiencies to the process and end result, according to Kawasaki. He suggested that organizations choose a mobility platform that has prebuilt native connectors and flexible integration middleware that easily pulls data and customizations without duplicating efforts.

(Related: Five considerations for building a solid dev/test cloud infrastructure)

2. Insufficient and ineffective security
Once developers figure out how to extend and scale existing back offices by using the cloud, the next problem they face is security.

“Developers need to ask themselves ‘How do I ensure someone doesn’t hack into the system?’ or if it is sufficiently encrypted,” said Kawasaki.

The answers to these questions lie inside a cloud service provider’s protocols. Organizations and developers need to be thoroughly familiar with the protocols and have details on each point of security, according to Kawasaki.

3. Forgetting about user experience
In addition to focusing on technology, don’t forget about user experience. All too often, organizations are too concerned about the quality and scalability of their back end that they forget about the end user, which can lead to confusing and hard-to-use apps, according to Kawasaki.

“People have a much higher expectation when it comes to mobile apps,” he said. “User experience is a way organizations compete against each other. They need to make sure people can use their app without needing training, or without having to wait. Patience is a lot lower on a mobile app.”
#!4. Giving up too much granularity
Granularity in the cloud is both a blessing and a curse, according to Kawasaki.

“The blessing is not having to worry,” he said. “Someone else is running the app, taking care of administrating the servers, patching it and running security software. The challenge is the cloud extracts so much details that sometimes it can’t really be tuned the way developers need it, giving limited options.”

Kawasaki’s advice is to do research before committing to a cloud service provider. Some providers offer a trial to ensure organizations are comfortable with the amount of control.

5. Sacrificing performance
Traditionally, when something wasn’t performing right, the answer was to buy more hardware to scale up or scale out. Nowadays with the cloud, an organization’s mobile app is running from someone else’s data center that could be halfway across the globe, and that luxury of fine-tuning for performance is gone.

Avoiding this comes back to doing homework about a cloud provider. An organization needs to ask detailed questions to ensure an app’s performance won’t suffer.

6. False promises of scalability
Beware of cloud providers promising scalable services. All cloud providers are going to make this claim, but that doesn’t mean all are going to deliver.

“Just because your cloud provider is built on a scalable cloud, it still doesn’t mean your mobile app’s architecture is going to take advantage of it,” Kawasaki said.

Organizations should make sure the back end can handle the data load and scale to meet customer demand. “Don’t just accept the face value, the generic cloud lingo,” said Kawasaki. “Trials are important. Test it out. Try testing different values of traffic against mobile applications to make sure your performance is still acceptable.”

7. Siloed strategies
“We are seeing people moving away from thinking of mobility as an initiative to mobile as part of every initiative,” Kawasaki said. “Avoid this way of thinking.”

Mobility is still an initiative, and the cloud is a means to an end, he said.

“It is surprising how many times you’ve seen mobility start as a siloed effort and fail because it was too disconnected from other business initiatives or improvement efforts that were undergoing change at the same time,” Kawasaki said.

Stay away from silos; they are an app’s worst enemy, he said. Organizations should make decisions about their technologies, he added, based on what fits in the business model today and in the future.