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Cloud Computing Demystified For Small Businesses

cloud server

by Lewis Robinson

Cloud technology has become a huge topic in the IT industry, and even more so for small businesses who may are working to stay on top of technological advances while often not having an in-house, dedicated IT staff. Cloud computing offers specific advantages and disadvantages over traditional site-based server rooms.

Here are five misconceptions about cloud computing technologies clarified for small businesses to make the choice to migrate simple:

1. Cloud Security is Not Up to Standards.

In the early days of cloud computing, there were questions regarding the security of cloud-based data. Particularly concerned about the protection of personally identifying information and form of payment details, many small business owners shied away from cloud products.

Cloud technology has grown exponentially in subsequent years, resulting in products that can match most small business security requirements. However, as InfoWorld warns, there are threats involved in cloud computing ranging from data breach to full data loss.

2. Data in the Cloud May Belong to Someone Else.

A common worry is that data saved in a cloud is accessible by the cloud host or that data could become the property of that host at the end of the contract. This is a valid concern, and requires the careful review of cloud service contracts. These questions become far more complicated over international borders, and it is critical to note any differentiation of ownership between items created elsewhere and saved to the cloud versus items developed directly in the cloud.

3. Cloud Technology is a Better Use of Resources.

Cloud technology is often considered green technology because it uses resources at their optimum and theoretically uses only the amount of server storage as is required. Theoretically, a small business running its own server room is outputting more carbon dioxide than the need to, as it is highly unlikely that they are using their servers to capacity. However as Cloudtimes.org reports, studies have shown that not all clouds are created equal and that an efficient, up-to-date server room may be more environmentally friendly than an inefficient cloud.

4. Everyone Needs to Move to Cloud Computing.

Cloud technology does afford unique opportunities to work on projects in unison anywhere in the world. Nonetheless it’s always important to consider your company’s specific needs before moving to a new a collaborative platform. Perhaps there are reasons why your processes work better with traditional server access these can range from simplicity of operations to a need to the need to control data to meet contract requirements. For instance, there are specific Human Resources laws in many states that prevent employee file data from being shared on drives, in clouds or emailed. Further, credit card data such as full credit card numbers or images may not be transmitted via these means; although generally secure, in some cases laws have not caught up to the technology.

On the other side, cloud technology has allowed small businesses to enter previously unreachable markets. For instance, closed captioning services option are now widely cloud-sourced globally, 24 hours a day.

5. Cloud Databases Are Backed Up Better than Traditional On-Site Servers.

In most cases this is true, and is one of the most common reasons companies choose to migrate to cloud servers. Because they are hosted in numerous places, cloud service is rarely disrupted by catastrophic events that destroy, damage or disrupt traditional server access. As in instances above, however, it is vital to review cloud contract details extensively. Some cloud providers will sunset data that has not been accessed in a certain period of time.

Moving to cloud-based servers may offer your small business financial savings over running an in-house server, and provide advantages in accessibility and protection against catastrophic server loss. By carefully reviewing contract details and IT needs, small businesses have countless options for data storage.

 

lewis robinson

Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales.  He’s begun multiple corporations and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.

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This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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