There’s been quite some debate on the question concerning cloud adoption, and the possibilities and hazards that arise along its incorporation to any company. While the main concern is security-based, which we will discuss further along, this alone is not enough to interrupt its adoption.
Renowned industry analyst Gartner believes that,
“At year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.”
If your company is considering switching in the near future, here’s what can help you decide if it will work out for you.
First things first.
The principal benefit that draws enterprises to choose cloud computing is cost reduction.
This emanates from the fact that cloud providers do your work for you. Whether it’s updating the servers on which they store data, purchasing whatever hardware is suitable for their clients, or going through their routine maintenance schedule, all these processes are handled by the provider itself, minimizing the budget that would otherwise pull at your own pockets if you were to do it on your own.
If you are an SMB, there might be nothing more appealing than making your business cost effective.
David Linthicum, SVP at Cloud Technology Partners says about companies struggling with their budget:
“The cloud empowers resource-constrained organizations to punch above their weight.”
Is your budget enough to handle all of this on-premise? Even if it is, why pay more when there are numerous services available at a much lower cost?
How strong are your security measures?
Having an outside source to partially manage your business processes is a contradiction in itself, since this is the basic definition of what the cloud does, yet most industries believe it to be a major security concern.
Think of it this way. If cloud computing firms manage various applications and processes for their customer base, is it possible they would compromise on security measures? In other words, these companies have better security reinforcement measures, since their whole existence depends on maintaining the trust their clients have put upon them.
An interview with Kris Lovejoy, the General Manager of Security Services for IBM, revealed her thoughts that human error is to blame:
“The reality is that the causal factor behind 95% of security breaches is human error — an employee fails to update a system, a programmer doesn’t complete a patch, etc.… All it takes is single person to miss one of these steps and the company can be put into a perilous position.” Lovejoy further added that: “The cloud offers a far more secure alternative to traditional solutions because it simplifies processes on a massive scale.”
If your company has one IT guy that handles the security of your firm, then cloud services have a whole department dedicated to the well-being of their systems.
Additionally, this opens the possibility of having data and disaster recovery solutions at hand in emergency situations.
If you believe your company has taken the right measure to keep vital information safe, then cloud might not be the thing for you. Otherwise, it’s better to leave it to the experts.
Are you often asked for access to data?
If your business is the kind that relies on data sharing, there’s no faster way to do it than with the cloud. Remember when that partner needed a particular piece of data immediately? Instead of having to transfer it from one device to another, wouldn’t it have been easier and faster to provide limited and secured access and get rid of the whole permission-granted-data-transferred step altogether?
On the contrary, if your day-to-day processes are going on well without this hassle, then a traditional data transfer and storage system will do the job for you.
What happens when you grow?
A bigger company means dealing with bigger expenses that come with more hardware, more physical storage space, and more services needed to keep your growing needs in check. The cloud, however, can take care of the physical closet space and servers, while you can spend that budget and room for improving your enterprise.
The cloud is scalable, which means you only pay for what you need, and can upgrade to more services as you grow without having to jump to fixed packages. This also makes it ideal for companies that are often relocating, expanding, and branching out, because there are no exhausting sign-up processes for each step.
Then what, to cloud or not to cloud? The choice depends solely on your requirements and the benefits it will give you, not on public opinion. Make sure you analyze everything properly before making a decision.