If you are a business owner or data manager you have probably heard a lot about The Cloud and what a great place it is to store data. It reduces expenses, it improves accessibility to information and it lessens the need for personnel, right? Not necessarily.
The fact is, that there are a lot of hazards involved in relying on The Cloud for all of your company’s data storage. There are a few factors that you may want to consider before sending all your data into outer space without having a backup plan. A prudent company will look at the hidden cost of changing technologies, the security risks of The Cloud and the way the new technology will affect your company’s information.
Advocates of The Cloud will tell you that you will reduce cost by storing your data in it, but they don’t mention the trouble and cost of getting all that data up there to begin with. In order to move data to The Cloud a company will have to find a vendor who knows what they are doing, to handle the migration. Companies have to enter into service agreements with any provider and once you have one CSP it can be difficult to change.
For one thing many of these CSP’s will charge exorbitant fees to start up or cancel contracts with them. The Cloud is a new technology and there are certain to be questionable clauses in CSP contracts. It may be hard to determine which parts of a CSP contract are legitimate, as it is a relatively new type of business.
Even if your CSP is an honest company, the data in The Cloud can be difficult to move. For example, Platform as a Service can be especially difficult to migrate, because applications are built on an existing software platform it can be challenging and expensive to port data to a new platform.
The location of the CSP can also be very important. Even though your data may be stored in the heavens, you want to make sure your CSP is located in a secure facility. There are an awful lot of CSP’s out there and some of them are comprised of nothing more than some guy or girl in a basement, with a couple of servers and not so much as a burglar alarm for a security system.
If all of your data is in The Cloud and your CSP somehow loses that data, there is no getting it back, no matter what. Accidents happen and even the most competent of companies make mistakes. Loosing critical data that was stored exclusively in The Cloud can be a mistake from which a company may not be able to recover.
While we are on the subject of security, you may want to consider how secure The Cloud is itself. If you have access to your data no matter where you are, who else can help themselves to the information? If a hacker or corporate spy gains access to your credentials he or she can easily send your customers and their data to the wrong sites or manipulate your data to contain the wrong information.
The past few years have seen many attacks on some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the country. These security attacks have cost companies millions of dollars in legal fees and immeasurable loss to their reputations. The loss of data due to a security breach can be very expensive. Therefore, it is still a very good ideas for companies to have their own IP storage.
Many advocates of Cloud storage will tell you that it is a great way to globalize your work force and cut down on personnel expenses. Putting sensitive data on the Cloud and then outsourcing work to companies in third world countries may be penny wise and pound foolish. A company who is going to globalize would be well advised not to put all of its data in the Cloud and then give access to workers around the world.
It is unrealistic to assume that companies in developing countries would be able to do background checks on their workers. The Cloud may make it very easy for workers to access sensitive material and steal it to use themselves, or sell to other companies. Hence, it may be a good idea to store some information in a place where only those who have a need to know, can access it.
Cloud storage can be an easy way to access information. It can provide a viable way to work from home occasionally, or even let workers maintain virtual offices. However, it is still a good idea to integrate Cloud storage with more traditional methods of data storage such as data repository. Metro Networks can help your company make an integrated data storage plan. Feel free to call our IT Specialist for an estimate at 559-492-5985.