Four Things To Keep In Mind When Considering The Cloud26 Mar
Anytime a new technology is introduced that promises lower costs and higher productivity people flock to it. They ooh and ahh and wonder how they can use the new technology to their advantage. This is certainly true with the cloud. However, while the term “cloud” has been floating around technology and business circles for some time, many people & businesses are still unsure about its potential and whether or not it’s the right move for them. In this case due diligence must be done, and education is your best ammunition when fighting the unknown.
First, let’s get one thing clear. The cloud is not to be feared. It’s not the beginning of the zombie apocalypse or the death of your traditional IT infrastructure. What it is – is a tool – a tool to be used for the betterment of your business. Here are four things to know when you’re considering the cloud for your business.
You Don’t Have To “Start Over” With The Cloud
What many people believe is that when you transition some or most of your IT infrastructure to the cloud that you are starting from scratch. This is certainly not the case. In fact, the cloud is more of an addition than a reboot. It can be time consuming, expensive, and a drain on resources when you try to host critical applications in-house.
This doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but the cloud is your friend in this regard. Many companies choose the cloud to handle critical application because of the ability to scale and more easily manage application peaks and valleys. Furthermore, you can procure more or less computing power from the cloud when you need it, sometimes at just the click of a button. Don’t think of the cloud as a brand new IT infrastructure, yet another valuable member of the team.
Security Is The Standard
Everyone worries about security. In this day in age security keeps IT managers and CEO’s awake at night, and for good reason. With major security breaches occurring at well-known organizations in the past couple years it certainly warrants a worry or two. However, this is where cloud providers excel – most of the time. The best cloud computing providers and managed service entities will strictly adhere to security standards. These include:
- SAS-70 II (Statement on Auditing Standards 70 Type II)
- SSAE-16 II (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements 16 Type II)
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy and Security Rules)
- HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act)
- PCI (Payment Card Industry)
- SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act)
- CIS (Center for Internet Security)
Most companies seeking the cloud will understand what compliance standards need to met. Asking the right questions can ease concerns about whether or not a cloud provider adheres to common security standards. The fact is cloud providers are experts in cyber security.
The Cloud Is Growing
Every year the adoption of the cloud continues to rise. It is estimated that the cloud market will exceed $180 Billion in 2015. That number is sure to increase a year later. So, what can be take away from this number? It helps us understand that more and more people are procuring cloud services every day. Now, it wouldn’t make sense that more businesses are choosing the cloud if the cloud didn’t provide great benefits, right? As cloud services continue to innovate and become more cost-effective it allows more and more businesses the opportunity to take advantage of what it has to offer.
You DO Need To Have A Plan
Implementations of the cloud usually go one of two ways. They are extremely smooth, or extremely bumpy. The bumpiness often occurs when organizations do not outline a plan for moving their critical applications to the cloud, or don’t ask the right questions or procure the right services from cloud providers. Let’s remember that cloud providers are experts in the space, they know what is best when it comes to application deployment and critical systems. Sure, they may not “know your business better than you do”, but if you work together so the cloud provider can better understand your business needs, you can outline a more solid plan. This will ultimately lead to a smooth transition and success in the cloud.