The Cloud is no new concept to the Australian business owner. We have long been told the security benefits of storing corporate data in the cloud as a logical step to keep your critical information safe. But how do you know which cloud solution to choose in the first place? Without an extensive background knowledge in cloud computing, the endless nuances and add-ons might seem like a bit of a minefield.
The truth is, for many business owners, it is.
Desktop research won’t always deliver the bespoke solution your business requires. Working with a cloud provider that offers face-to-face counsel, tailored advice and knowledge of local compliance legislation is a must-have. The good news is, it won’t break the bank.
Finding the right fit
Far from being a one-size-fits-all solution, your cloud model needs to fit around you, and there is little margin for error when you’re the guardian of your customers’ information. In the process of moving to a cloud environment, organisations must be assured they’ll have the performance and capacity they need without over or under provisioning resources.
Surprisingly enough, when undertaking the migration process, companies tend to overestimate rather than underestimate the space they’ll need. Because of this, they over-provision themselves in the cloud, resulting in expenditure they didn’t account for, for space they won’t utilise. This entirely defeats the primary objective of moving away from the inflated costs associated with on-premise data storage. With this in mind, working with a cloud specialist who can right-size a solution that fits with your business model could save you a small fortune in the long run.
Recognise that you might already be in the cloud
Anyone within your organisation with a credit card and weak IT policies can decide on their own to use a cloud-based service or store and share their data in a cloud. Also, any company using applications like MS Office 365 are, whether they realise it or not, operating in the cloud. The misconception in these cases is that everyone thinks that the company offering the cloud service is diligently storing data for the right length of time, providing the proper protection, or following international data regulations.
Companies must operate with a level of shared responsibility, taking extra measures to ensure their data is being properly stored and protected. Often this means taking steps on their own to introduce an added layer of protection.
Safety is everything
Ransomware and data hacks are commonplace in the media today, so much so that they barely make us blink. Whether we are protecting against sophisticated attacks orchestrated by external hackers, or internal breaches initiated by disgruntled employees or even an unintentional stroke of the wrong key, businesses must protect their critical information with several layers of protection.
A multi-layer strategy will provide you with the depth and defence approach that will put you in the best position possible to prevent loss of data and system downtime. These layers should be based on the value of the data. For instance, one layer would be reserved for data recovery, which would hold mission critical data, and a secondary layer might be dedicated to backup, where although the data is still critical, some downtime could be afforded in the worst-case scenario.
An efficient migration
As well as taking the proactive step to ensure optimum security of corporate and customer data, many businesses transition to the cloud to streamline complex backend processes. Small business owners might not have the IT expertise necessary to undertake this level of transition. This becomes worrying when you know that, during this process, they are solely accountable for adhering to legal requirements associated with the migration process.
The prospect of incurring losses to both finances and time results in a barrier to adoption and leaves customer data vulnerable while left on-premise. Much like you might employ an accountant at the end of the financial year rather than learning the ins and outs of tax filing yourself, working with an experienced cloud migration consultant will give you the peace of mind that your data is safe and compliant with the appropriate regulations.
Where IT is changing, so too must our business models. Success will depend on how well we adapt to these changes. Where IT talent was once hired trained and retained, churn associated with the frequent job hopping now commonplace within the industry creates risk. Cloud eliminates that risk and fortifies your business from preventable dangers.