Cloud computing can make any business more responsive and efficient, but many businesses fear the cloud, citing issues surrounding data protection, security and compatibility. This guide will cut through the hype. Are the fears justified? And more importantly do the pros of Cloud computing outweigh the cons?
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing describes the use of networks of remote servers – usually accessed over the Internet – to store, manage, and process data. Simply put, it’s computing based on the Internet. Whereas in the past, businesses would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows businesses access to the same kinds of applications via the Internet.
While cloud computing is undoubtedly beneficial for most businesses, it is not without its perceived downsides.
What are the risks involved in cloud computing?
1. Technical issues
In theory, information and data on the cloud can be accessed anytime, anywhere, but cloud computing – like traditional computing – can be subject to outages and other technical issues. Even the best cloud service providers run into this kind of trouble, despite maintaining high standards of maintenance. It’s likely there will be times of network and connectivity problems.
The other major risk while in the cloud is security. Surrendering all of your company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider could potentially put your company at risk. Due diligence in choosing the most reliable service provider, who will keep your information totally secure, is absolutely essential.
3. Vulnerable to attack
Storing information in the cloud could make your company vulnerable to external hack attacks and threats. Well publicised ransomware cases last year proved that nothing on the Internet is completely secure and that there is always the possibility, no matter how slim, of a breach of sensitive data.
4. Compatibility issues
Another potential issue with the cloud is compatibility with all the existing IT systems in a business. Most companies would have to replace much of their existing IT infrastructures in order to make the system compatible on the cloud.
What are the benefits of Cloud Computing?
1. Increased flexibility
Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase, it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity. Likewise if you need to scale down, the flexibility is part of the service.
2. Back-up and disaster recovery
Businesses of all sizes should invest in robust disaster recovery, but for businesses that lack the required capital and expertise it is often more of an ideal than a reality. Cloud computing is now helping more businesses reverse that trend because there is no need for large up-front investments and third-party expertise is part of the deal.
3. Automatic software updates
The beauty of cloud computing is that suppliers take care of servers for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to allocate time maintaining the system yourself.
Cloud computing removes the high cost of hardware investment. You simply pay-as-you-go and enjoy a subscription-based model that fits your cash flow.
5. Facilitating collaboration
When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help teams make updates in real time and have full visibility of their collaborations.
6. Improved IT security
Lost laptops are a billion-dollar business problem. The loss of the sensitive data is potentially a greater problem. Cloud computing gives you greater security, because your data is stored in the cloud you can access it no matter what happens to your hardware. You can even remotely wipe data from lost devices so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
For most businesses, the pros of cloud computing far outweigh the cons. Using the cloud is fast becoming the new normal in business. Cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits. To find how BTA can support you with your journey to the cloud, contact us today.
We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, BTA can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, BTA has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for more than 20 years. Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.