In the world of enterprise IT, cloud computing is on everybody’s mind.

Remote data hosting is helping many organizations streamline daily processes and lesson the burden of IT infrastructure maintenance. The cloud makes our information less expensive, more secure (usually), and more accessible. We hold these truths to be self-evident.

But can cloud computing solve all of our enterprise challenges? The answer, of course, is no. While the arrival of the cloud will help organizations remain competitive over the long term, there are several business challenges that, as much as we’d like to solve them, the cloud is unable to ameliorate on its own. Here are five of them:

1. Compliance

From data location to identity management, many organizations have to meet rigorous compliance standards no matter who they hire to store their data. And that means paying careful attention to how a prospective cloud vendor will help you meet specific requirements.

Unfortunately, this also means keeping a close watch on the ever-changing standards for data compliance. Organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) are helping cloud computing clients stay compliant as their IT infrastructures evolve. The CSA is actually supported by a member base of auditors and service providers, all of whom have an interest in seeing organizations stay compliant as they transition to the cloud.

That said, cloud computing rarely makes compliance easier. Barring some unforeseen development, it actually makes compliance more difficult for enterprise – at least in the short term.

2. Laborious implementation & deployment

Just because it’s the cloud doesn’t mean the implementation will be a breeze.

At the enterprise level, cloud computing is more than just a secure online backup or a cool new Web app. It represents a new way to do business, and the transition never happens overnight. On the contrary, the data migration process can be long and difficult. Organizations will need to develop a very specific deployment plan that ensures the safety and availability of data at all stages of the process.

Much like other large IT projects, the point of cloud computing is to improve the way everything “works.” But moving to the cloud is still just that – a large IT project. Overall, the cloud may be a boon to enterprise, but when it comes to the implementation stage, there could still be a big, time-consuming implementation.

3. Up-front investment

And it’s costly. At least in the short term. In the long term, cloud computing helps pretty much everyone save money and improve their bottom line. That’s actually one of its biggest selling points.

But the cloud hasn’t done away with the sometimes hefty up-front costs of big IT deployments. Unfortunately, these costs are what prevent many companies from investing in the first place.

4. Redefining processes and workflows

Transitioning to the cloud means new possibilities for data access across various platforms and devices. If decision makers permit it, users will more easily be able to view and modify data from mobile devices and remote locations. The applications themselves often change, too.

All of these developments mean users will have to learn and become comfortable with new business processes and workflows. In other words, a typical day on the job will be different because users are expected to do their work in a different way.

Does this mean employee backlash? Possibly, but not always. You’ve got to win users over by demonstrating how the cloud can make it easier to complete routine tasks.

But while the cloud can certainly improve repetitive processes and streamline workflows, it doesn’t take the hassle out of redefining them. Just like the laboriousness of implementations and the high up-front costs of “cloud-sizing,” teaching users how to work in the cloud is part of the initial transitionary burden some organizations will have to overcome.

5. “Green” data centers & sustainability

Let’s face it, data centers are energy hogs. And lots of energy means more air pollution, more CO2 emissions, and a shorter lifespan for the planet. We all love using the cloud, but do we love it that much?

Of course we don’t. Sure, there was a time when we thought more cloud computing was obviously greener. But with the proliferation of mobile devices and the increasing size and quantity of data centers around the globe, the cloud hasn’t exactly become the environmental godsend we thought it would be.

Environmental sustainability, many would argue, is quickly becoming humanity’s moral imperative. Cloud providers may have an integral role to play in creating a more sustainable way forward. The status quo, unfortunately, isn’t doing the planet much good.