Cloud technology is, in many respects, in its infancy. Small-to-medium-sized businesses like yours are discovering how the cloud can boost efficiency and security, yet local hardware still has value.
What is “The Cloud”?
The cloud is an internet-based way of computing, sharing, storing and protecting data. Everything is done online, so the work hub no longer revolves around hard drives and in-house servers. Even if your IT infrastructure is 99 percent local, using Microsoft 365, One Drive, Google Docs or Dropbox means you’re working in the cloud.
How Can I Access the Cloud?
You can access the cloud through a number of applications. SaaS (Software as a Service) lets you subscribe to software that you use over the internet, like Salesforce and SharePoint. With IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) you rely on an internet giant like Google, Microsoft or Amazon to function as your cloud datacenter. Daas (Desktop as a Service) creates virtual desktops accessible from any device.
What are the Risks/Benefits of “As a Service” Applications?
• Low cost of entry
• _Someone else controls your internet access (and the cost of access)
• _You cannot work without an internet connection
• _Recovery times can take longer in the cloud than with a local server
Is the Cloud Right for Your Business?
It depends on a number of practical, financial, and compliance-based considerations:
• What capacity do you need for file sharing
and hosted email?
• _How can you ensure adequate security and back-ups?
• _How quickly do you need data recovery?
• _What’s your bandwidth budget?
• _How reliable is your provider?
Instead of jumping into the cloud without a parachute, many business owners ease in with a hybrid approach that combines the best of local and cloud-based solutions when it comes to security and back-ups.
Is My Data Secure in the Cloud?
Most small-medium businesses lack adequate security, no matter where they store their data. Companies regularly – and unnecessarily – endanger their data. When an employee takes work home, he places a file on his personal Dropbox or Drive account and that information can be at risk. To prevent security lapses, your company needs an enterprise-grade, file-sharing application with centralized controls. This ensures that data can be viewed only on secure devices, while providing easy access to authorized users, a crucial safeguard whether you use local servers, the cloud or both.
Is My Data Backed Up When I Put it in the Cloud?
Source applications typically back up automatically, but in the cloud, your data can be lost, hacked or stolen through insufficient backup systems, innocent oversight, deliberate mischief or some combination of the three. On any given day you might experience an outage. Your road warriors work over public Wi-Fi. An end-user accidentally hits delete. A disgruntled employee takes a few vital files.
How Can I Ensure My Data is Backed Up?
There are many excellent strategies for ensuring proper back up and retention. One approach is to pair onsite and cloud back up. Having your initial data set on premises enables you to restore essential information immediately after a crash with minimal business interruption. You can then retrieve incrementally from the cloud as needed. It’s robust, yet flexible, and a smart first step. I95
Jeff Elkin is the President at Advance Business Systems, which specializes in providing businesses with technology solutions including Managed IT services. Advance works with organizations to assess and stabilize their IT environment and ensure their technology will meet the goals of their organization now and in the future. Advance’s team of engineers proactively monitor each client’s environment and manage every element of their IT needs from updates and back-ups to large scale projects such as email migrations and system upgrades.