Cloud computing has so many benefits for businesses and it’s important that you invest in it. Storing your data in the cloud is more cost effective because you don’t need to manage and maintain physical servers. You also have improved security because cloud computing services have more data protection resources.
If you are a small business and you find it difficult to cover the cost of comprehensive cyber-security, cloud storage is the ideal solution.
Access to information through cloud storage can also help to improve productivity in your business. If all employees have access to central storage, they don’t have to waste time emailing documents back and forth. This is especially useful if your business uses remote workers, which is becoming a lot more common.
However, it’s important to remember that cloud computing is not a magic bullet that will solve all of your business problems. It will only benefit you if you invest in the right cloud services and you manage them effectively, which a lot of businesses struggle with. If you are making the move toward cloud services, it’s important that you avoid these common mistakes.
1. Neglecting Security.
Cloud storage is a more secure option than local data storage, but that doesn’t mean that security isn’t an issue. A lot of businesses assume that their data is completely safe from online attacks if they store it in the cloud, and that simply isn’t the case. There are a lot of cloud security threats that you need to be aware of and you still need to be proactive about protecting your data. The authentication systems on your end are an important security feature, but those systems can be vulnerable in some cases. Account hijacking is also a larger issue if your employees have full access to cloud storage. In the past, if an account was hijacked, that person would only have access to whatever was saved on that employees personal account. But with cloud services, they may have full access to everything, so you need to ensure that account security is always a priority and employees are always using strong passwords.
In some cases, it may be best to store certain data locally instead of moving it into the cloud. If you hold a lot of very sensitive data, you cannot always guarantee its safety in the cloud. If you want to be safe, you should consider storing it on your own servers and handling your own cyber-security so you can minimize the risks.
It’s also important that you consider data regulations when choosing a cloud service provider. In a lot of industries, businesses need to ensure that they are compliant with data protection regulations. If data loss occurs as a result of non-compliance, that can cause you a lot of legal issues. Some businesses make the mistake of assuming that all cloud storage services will be compliant, but that is not always the case. Before you sign up to a cloud storage service, always ask about how data will be stored and managed to ensure that you are always compliant with the law.
2. Not Planning For Growth.
Neglecting to plan for growth is one of the most common mistakes that people make when choosing cloud storage services. It’s important that you think about your data storage needs, but you also need to consider how those needs will change over the coming years as the business grows. That’s why it’s important that you find flexible cloud services that are easily scalable so you can continue to meet your storage needs as the business grows.
Amazon Web Services is one of the best options, especially for new businesses that are likely to see growth in the near future. If you migrate to AWS, you can pay for your cloud services on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. That makes it a lot more flexible so as the business grows, you can easily scale up. The size of the company also means that Amazon has the resources to protect your data effectively.
3. Poor Service Level Agreements.
Cloud service providers are bound by a service level agreement to offer a predefined level of service. These contracts exist to manage the expectations of both parties and ensure that you get the cloud services that you are paying for. It’s important that you go through these contracts thoroughly when you are choosing between providers so you can ensure that you are getting the best possible service. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses sign up for providers without a good service level agreement in place. That leaves you in a difficult position if you experience a lot of problems with downtime because you have no legal recourse. It can also cause a lot of issues when it comes to things like disaster recovery because there is no set contract to state exactly what the cloud services promise to recover or how long it will take. It’s vital that you have a good service level agreement in place before you sign up to any cloud service provider.
4. Forgetting About Bandwidth Requirements.
One of the best things about cloud computing is that you can access a lot of great applications and software without the need for expensive hardware. However, that does mean that you are far more reliant on your internet connection, and a lot of businesses forget that. When all of your applications are run from the cloud, you will require a lot more bandwidth than you would if you were running things from local hardware. It’s important that you invest in upgrading your internet connection and find ways to improve speeds if you are using cloud services. If you don’t, things will grind to a halt and you will not get the productivity benefits that you should.
Cloud computing is the future for business and if you are not already using it, it’s an important investment for your business. But it’s important that you spend some time finding the right cloud computing services and you manage your security effectively. As long as you avoid these common mistakes, cloud computing can improve your business in a lot of different ways.