According to the 2014 IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Research Survey, 61 percent said security fears held them back from moving to the cloud. Although such fears are common, they can impact a business’ bottom line. A study by Rackspace Hosting found 88 percent of U.K. and U.S. businesses reported saving money. Among those surveyed, 56 percent increased profits directly from using cloud services, and 49 percent were able to grow their business.
Adapting to the cloud may not be the right fit for your business. But ask yourself if it’s because it doesn’t suit your long-term business goals, or if it stems from misplaced concerns about moving to the cloud. Here’s a look at some of the most common issues business owners have about the cloud.
There’s no one to trust
It’s a daunting prospect to entrust your most sensitive data and processes to a third-party vendor. You’re obligated to keep your client’s information secure and safe from a data breach. But there are ways to determine a cloud company’s reputation and services.
Word-of-mouth referrals are generally a safe bet; however, every business has unique needs. A photography business needs different cloud storage solutions than a business consulting service. Check reviews on a site like Top10CloudStorage and look for business cloud service ratings and reviews to narrow down the best option for your company. Make a list of your contenders and cross-reference them with the Better Business Bureau to double check their reputation.
I can’t keep my data safe
Google and Microsoft may have agreed at an annual RSA Conference that the cloud is safe to use, but that doesn’t mean your mind is at ease. Feeling vulnerable about choosing a cloud vendor is only the first step in facing security concerns. Keeping data safe is a valid fear for any business owner. Start by interviewing cloud vendors on their encryption methods, security protocols and procedures in the event of a data breach.
Next, assume accountability for your data and information. Inc. suggests keeping sensitive information out of the cloud altogether, as well as using difficult-to-guess passwords and limiting access. Don’t allow your employees to access and share information in the cloud without going through a safety procedure. Create a system such as logging the activity and only accessing such files in the office, not while working remotely at home.
It’s just too complex
Digital Guardian polled security experts about popular issues companies have with the cloud. The complexity of making it all work ranks high on the list of companies that are unsure of how to proceed. A large corporation handling thousands of customers’ data and other information is a complex move to the cloud. Chances are, they’re already on the cloud to continue scaling their business while reducing costs, all with the help of third-party vendors and a robust IT staff to handle it.
Smaller businesses can make a more efficient move to the cloud with a roll-out in phases. For example, business owners can start by moving hard copies of files and uploading them to the cloud, or pulling graphics and images from external servers.
You can move to the cloud slowly and decide not to adopt it 100 percent. But complexity generally isn’t an issue with the right cloud provider who can help walk you through the process and free up more time, money and space so your company can focus on more important tasks.
If you still have qualms about adapting your business to the cloud, stop to consider if you’re already using it. From storing photos in Dropbox to using Microsoft Word online, your business may already rely on cloud computing and storage for basic needs. Gradually add additional cloud-based systems like your project management or business lead management system to your business process to increase your comfort level. You may find your concerns about the cloud are valid, but the investment of time and money to educate you and your staff on the benefits may be worth it.