3 Things You Need to Know About Storing Data in the Cloud
Recent headlines across tech, business, and even political news describe various concerns over storing data in the cloud. This relatively new way of storing information triggers questions because it is not your basic file cabinet.
Storing data in the cloud changes the traditional way information is processed, transmitted, and accessed. Yet, for most businesses, small or large, cloud computing is no longer a question. This Year’s State of the Cloud Survey by Right Scale showed that 95% of businesses are already using the cloud in some capacity. Intuit and Emergent Research report that by 2020 close to 80% of all American small businesses will be fully adapted to cloud computing. So why should you consider transitioning or purchasing a cloud service to house your valuable and private information?
3 Things You Need to Know
- Cloud Computing is Secure
- Cloud Computing is Convenient
- Cloud Computing Saves Money!
Cloud Security - As the cloud gains popularity security is a major concern. For the past two years it has been the top concern in Right Scale’s State of the Cloud Survey for businesses considering and using the cloud. However this year security concerns are at 29% and lack of expertise has taken its spot at number one at 32% because more organizations are placing more of their workloads in the cloud. Businesses are discovering that by taking initiative with simple precautions information in the cloud is kept secure. Anyone considering or currently using the cloud should take steps to maintain data security.
- Check Current/Potential Cloud Provider Service Agreements
Read before you sign! This agreement should meet privacy, security, and government regulations for your particular field or service. Move on or negotiate until you are comfortable with the agreement.
A simple google search of “encryption” and you find it is the most effective way to achieve data security because without the key or password you cannot easily decrypt it. The American Bar Association suggests taking advantage of using an encrypted cloud service because it offers an added layer of protection. Five Tips to Keep Your Data Secure on the Cloud, an article from CIO agrees that encryption is unsurpassed at keeping data safe. Ensure your data is safe with this step.
- Audit Trails
Full audit trail logs will record every action that occurs. Deterring data breaches because the ability to doctor documents and information, or to take information will be documented and recorded.
- Have a Plan in Place
As mentioned in our blog, Cloud Computing Security: Make Your Data More Secure, Human error accounts for a great percentage of attacks on information. Make sure that your company has a plan in place to safeguard passwords, laptops, emails, and other points of entry to important data.
Cloud computing is convenient. – The cloud offers businesses the ability to quickly and securely collaborate from anywhere at any time. According to the American Bar Association’s ABA Techreport 2015, the anytime anywhere accessibility of cloud computing is seen as its biggest benefit.
Using the cloud to store data also cuts down on the time it takes to search through emails and paper files or for colleagues to find information. A 2013 survey from SearchYourCloud revealed that it took eight searches to find the right document and information. Just over 30% of those searches took up to 25 minutes per document. According to a McKinsey report, The Social Economy: Unlocking Value & Productivity Through Social Technologies, 20% of an employee's work week is spent locating internal information or colleagues to help with specific tasks. Communication and collaboration in the cloud save these valuable minutes and hours by allowing secure searches across great amounts of information in minutes.
The Cloud Saves Money! – When cloud services are supported by another party businesses save because it can be scaled on demand. This scalability allows businesses to pace their investments and helps them to focus spending on the areas that need immediate attention. Savings continue to increase as more applications are placed on the cloud. Intuit found that the cloud offers small businesses affordable access to technology and abilities that were once only available to enterprise businesses. Specific areas of cost savings businesses recognize are:
- Decrease in Capital Expenses – Hardware, Space, Electricity Service Costs
- Decrease in Storage Costs of Archived Records, Information, & Data
- Decrease in Internal IT Staff because of Increased Efficiency
- More Budget for Operational Expenses
Whether choosing a public cloud like Microsoft Azure, an exclusive private cloud, or a hybrid cloud that combines the aforementioned two, research is important. Cloud computing has been in place since the late 1990s and is evolving into the standard for storing data because it offers security, convenience, and cost savings. Today it is trusted to store data for government offices, healthcare organizations, law offices, private businesses, as well as other types of industries. To achieve the most value from storing your data in the cloud, maintain data security, take advantage of any time anywhere access, and use the scalability of cloud providers to invest where it is most needed.
- State of the Cloud Survey, Right Cloud, 2016
- Small Business Success in the Cloud, Emergent Research & Intuit Inc., 2014
- Health Plans, the Cloud, & HIPAA Privacy & Security, American Bar Association, 2012
- 5 Tips to Keep Your Data Secure on the Cloud, CIO, Victoria Ivey, 16 Dec. 2013
- ABA Techreport 2015, American Bar Association, 2015
- SearchYourCloud Survey, 5 Nov. 2013
- The Social Economy: Unlocking Value & Productivity Through Social Technologies , McKinsey Global Institute, July 2012