Businesses are seeing more of the software and systems they use each day moving to cloud operations. Here are the top four major considerations to do so securely and successfully.
Ask anyone what facet of technology is moving at the most rapid pace, and you will hear about the latest advancement of cloud-based software and storage. Cloud computing technology has made access to a multitude of information and resources easier than ever. By storing information and data on servers accessible through the internet versus on a hard drive, access to a virtually unlimited amount of data is just a click away.
Many contributing factors have accelerated the development of cloud software and solutions. The Covid-19 epidemic compelled many organizations to innovate how they operate, including how to serve and reach their customers. With migration efforts being expedited, more and more businesses are making the move.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the offering of various software and information storage in remote hard drives accessible through secure internet login portals. While information will always be stored on a hard drive somewhere, the biggest difference is how you access the data and the flexibility you have to access your data from any internet accessible device. Hence, rather than investing in and hosting your data and applications on your local infrastructures, your data resides on a cloud data center and your devices remain uncluttered.
The cloud offers the unique ability to choose when you access certain software on an as-needed basis. This alleviates a multitude of hardware functionality reliance with items like computing power, storage limitations, and data location.
Examples of widely used cloud-based providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Cloud Services, The Google Cloud Suite, Dropbox, Adobe products, and many more.
While moving your personal data to the cloud may be a no-brainer, there are important considerations that must come into play.
Top 4 Considerations When Moving Your Business to the Cloud
- Data Security
Cloud data security has long been a source of controversy. In a recent Alsbridge study of 250 IT decision-makers, 45 percent of participants expressed anxiety about the disclosure of private information due to a serious security incident. However, despite participants’ worries, just 10% think that the cloud has yet to demonstrate its readiness security-wise, and only 4% still think that it is all hype.
The security of private data and HIPAA compliance are especially a concern to those in the healthcare industry. They face an even bigger burden of consideration when deciding about a migration to the cloud. With a recent uptick of data breaches, a practice should take the time to confirm the degree and type of security and data encryption employed by the hosting provider, including SSAE-16 certification. Plus, discuss protection measures with your IT provider to ensure their products and solutions are sufficient and thorough.
Above all else, make sure your security solution will be upheld through the entire process and with any provider fully meeting your compliance standards.
Internet Service Quality
Cloud computing is entirely dependent on internet connectivity for smooth and successful operations. Having poor internet service equates to inconsistent and frustrating cloud operations. Discuss the recommended speed requirements with your IT consultant and inquire about redundant connection options available in your area.
Before moving your business to the cloud, consult an expert on rules regarding storage and accessibility with respect to protection of private health data and regulatory oversight. Compliance requirements for industries like healthcare or law have clear regulations that require compliance held at the risk of losing the ability to practice.
It is important to consult an industry expert who is familiar with how to execute the IT requirements and parameters that must be followed to execute and monitor the migration.
The cost reductions and efficiency that companies experience as a result of their migration to the cloud are among some of its greatest advantages. When businesses migrate to the cloud, daily maintenance expenses and capital needed for upgrades and hardware investments will begin declining.
While overall costs are often reduced, there will be some new expenses required to make the switch. In this area, expect to pay for a cloud hosting solution. Even though free cloud computing plans exist, know that those who take protection of data seriously will have higher fees. Additionally, free options often have their functionality and capacity limited, and most businesses would find their offerings inadequate. To combat the added points of vulnerability, additional security and IT costs may occur to adequately support the cloud functionality.
Though there may be some overall added costs, the return on investment exceeds storing and running data and software on local infrastructures.
Cloud computing is the way of the future for most, and eventually, there will be no avoiding the move. However, organizations should exercise caution before jumping in headfirst. Knowing the right questions to ask and the correct procedures to take is more than half of the battle to ensure success and prevent downtime during the swap. As with all things tech-related, research, patience, and expert input is the best shot at a successful transition.