Cloud computing has been a great benefit for many businesses. Different organizations find it invaluable for different reasons. For some it’s because they operate with a remote workforce. Others don’t want to invest large sums in hardware to run on-site, while also saddled with the interest payable for financing it. Some organizations only need to use cloud resources intermittently, according to the ebb and flow of demand for their product or service.
No matter what you use the cloud for, you need to manage your cloud accounts actively. Today we’ll look at three important problems that can arise if you’re not on top of it all.
Have you ever signed up for an internet-based service, like a streaming service, and then more or less forgotten about it? This can happen with cloud services for business. Staff, or departments, sign up for services that they then don’t use. But they stillpay for them every month because most cloud services work on a monthly auto-renewal basis, which is easy and convenient.
Convenience is all good, but the expenditure is only worth it if you actually use and want to keep the service. If you’re not using it, you could be throwing away money every month. The advantage of cloud computing is that it can be cost-effective for small businesses. You can also scale up or scale back as needed. But the bottom line is that you shouldn’t be paying for services you don’t need.
Some businesses opt for hosting their own IT infrastructure in the cloud, rather than using the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. There can be benefits, but one of the problem is predicting the costs involved. It’s not easy to estimate these costs with pinpoint accuracy, and it’s often the case that operating costs exceed the amount that’s been budgeted for. Smaller businesses may not have the resources to manage their cloud computing costs effectively.
There’s always been insecurity about the security of cloud computing. Business owners have quite rightly been concerned about where their data is being held and the integrity of the physical infrastructure that holds it. They have to trust the provider to provide all the necessary security and protection. Sensitive and confidential company data is often held in the cloud, so this is not something anyone should take lightly.
Just because your data is cloud-hosted doesn’t mean that all the usual security issues magically go away. Cybercrime can also affect cloud services providers. You are still potentially vulnerable to data breaches, authentication breaches, hijacking of accounts and other hacking attempts. So how do you go about ensuring that your data and cloud-hosted operations are secure? Here are some things to consider:
• Check the security measures your cloud provider has in place. To make sure your data is secure, the platform you use should have integrated identity management, authentication and access controls.
• Establish which database privacy and security laws they comply with, preferably before you sign up to their cloud services. Privacy requirements are now often enshrined in law or mandated in industry-specific regulations. Cloud services providers that demonstrably follow the guidelines are clearly going to be more secure. They should also assist you to stay compliant with the regulations for your sector.
• Take advantage of the business intelligence tools that are available. These will allow you to evaluate how well your cloud-hosted services are working in general, as well as their level of security.
Something all businesses need for continuity and optimal operating is reliability. With anything that relies on an internet connection there are always going to be the odd glitches and connection issues that result in downtime. Cloud-hosted solutions should help considerably with that. But if you’re using the cloud to have access to tools that are otherwise unaffordable, will your cloud-based services deliver the reliability you need?
Some of the big providers of cloud services have suffered from major outages over the years, with the obvious implications for the businesses that use them. A good cloud services provider will have some mitigation measures in place. Minimally, you should be alerted speedily as soon as a problem arises, so you can at least try to manage the situation as it unfolds. This is something to check when signing up for cloud Saas services.
Cloud computing can make a huge difference to your business, from efficiency and productivity through to cost-effectiveness and savings. Be aware that it may also mean that you need to think carefully about your IT and how it functions. If you need advice on cloud solutions, give Quikteks a call today at (973) 882-4644. Our consultants can help you get the secure and dependable cloud services that you are looking for.