With news of sites being hacked and other disturbing events on the web, is it any wonder that many businesses are apprehensive about moving their business into the cloud? Yet despite these events experts are predicting a large increase in the number of businesses that are planning to move to the cloud in the next few years. The reason is obvious, with the cloud making possible custom IT services simply and quickly at a lower cost every business, whether a start-up or established company, wants to move to the cloud.
There are still some businesses that are holding back, primarily because of fear or lack of information. There are three primary areas where knowledge of the risks and how to combat them can help any business decide if moving to the cloud is right for them.
Security – Cloud computing can be seen as more vulnerable to online attacks than the alternative of storing data on the company’s private servers because of being based on the Internet. While this sounds logical, the actual situation is that having dedicated staff ensuring cloud security and setting security standards will give you a higher level of security and is more reliable. To be sure that a cloud service provider’s security is at the level you need, examine their security policy. You can also stay in touch with the latest in cloud security through The Cloud Security Alliance which is a collaboration of cloud experts who are actively promoting best standards and practices for security assurance in the cloud computing community.
Compatibility – This is another issue which often holds back larger organizations and enterprises from moving forward with cloud technology. Sometimes the existing IT configuration is too complicated to restructure for compatibility with cloud technology. When this happens, often the best solution is the hybrid cloud to give the business the best of both worlds. Often a third party provider is brought into the picture to provide assistance in handling the transition that will dramatically reduce time and costs for both personnel and technology for the business.
Availability – Many businesses express concern about the degree that cloud data will be available to them. This is of particular concern when it comes to data and service interruptions because businesses may be used to their servers being in close physical proximity and control. The best way to approach this is to discuss with the provider and assess the risks involved along with risk management responsibilities for each of the parties.
In the final analysis, cloud computing for each business can only be undertaken once all of the IT advantages and disadvantages along with the business impact it will have are taken into account. The determination of what the business is looking to achieve from cloud computing along with a discussion with your cloud provider regarding security risks can help any business to configure the cloud environment that works best for their particular business context.
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