The cloud is a powerful method of computing. When the term first entered into wide usage, it was ambiguous. No one really knew what it meant. Or, if they understood the concept, most people had no idea how it worked.
Today, we’re past the stage of being mystified by the cloud. Most people get the concept of a decentralized computer network that harnesses the power of many individual machines to provide computing services.
But understanding the cloud and trusting the cloud are two entirely different propositions. Despite the proven benefits, many business owners or administrators still have a tough time relinquishing control over their data to a third party. They just don’t like the idea of sending proprietary information out into the ether.
To be sure, cloud computing isn’t the only option available. Many businesses choose to host their websites or manage their business infrastructure on their own, in-house servers. Some may split some data storage tasks between in-house servers and the cloud. On the other hand, many businesses fully embrace the power of the cloud.
What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. And vice versa.
So, how can do you know if cloud hosting is right for your business? Let’s take a look at a few attribute of the cloud to help you make an informed decision.
Ease & Access
One of the best things about cloud hosting is the ability to easily access your data anytime and from almost anywhere. This makes running your business on the go very easy. And, it can also foster greater collaboration among your employees – especially if they’re working remotely or in different locales.
Another benefit is foregoing big expenditures on expensive hardware. In-house servers cost a lot of money. If you’re a small business, investing in costly infrastructure may not be the right move. Cloud hosting allows you to keep your costs down as your organization grows.
This highlights another cloud advantage – scalability. If your company grows quickly, or your website traffic takes off unexpectedly, all you have to do is inform your provider that you need to step up your plan to meet your data needs. That’s it.
Another upside of cloud hosting is the ability to get back up and running quickly after a disaster or emergency situation. Decentralizing your data allows you the flexibility to access important information whenever you need it, from whatever device you have available.
Many cloud detractors cite security is a reason why they won’t engage with the service. This group prioritizes maintaining complete control of company data from start to end. They would rather entrust their IT security to an in-house team of experts.
However, cloud providers are actually better positioned to provide data security than any individual business. Cloud providers have dedicated teams that are specifically tasked with keeping the entire cloud network safe. Most organizations, especially small businesses, don’t have the resources to stay on the cutting edge of network security. Even a robust internal IT team would have trouble matching the security capabilities of a cloud host, as security is just one aspect of an in-house IT team’s responsibility.
Also, it’s important to remember that your internal security protocols are only as strong as your weakest user. System users (people) are the greatest weakness to a secured system. Keeping sensitive information off your local servers can actually protect your business from an accidental breach, employee theft or corporate espionage.
The Final Case
Is cloud hosting right for absolutely everyone? Probably not. However, the scalability, flexibility and security of the cloud makes it an attractive and affordable choice for small and medium-sized businesses.
If you’d like to know more about how cloud hosting can help your business, give BITS a call. Our IT security experts can provide a professional analysis of your vulnerabilities and network needs.