Cloud computing is one of the best innovations that happened to 21st-century businesses. With the use of the cloud, storage is no longer a problem for businesses.
Since employees are not limited to working in offices anymore, data mobility has become increasingly important. Cloud computing is still relatively new and most businesses still rely on its in-house hard drives.
So before you shift to the cloud, here are five things you need to consider.
1. Provider. There are many cloud computing providers in the market. You need to canvass well and look for renowned providers. The provider you will choose needs to have years of expertise in the cloud computing business.
You also need to find out who their clients are. If they are trusted by big companies with their data then you can most likely trust them with yours. You also need to look at the innovations and updates they’ve done in their cloud features.
As the market for the cloud grows, providers should be able to provide something more for its clients. You have to know what makes the provider stand out from the rest.
2. System Specs. Before shifting to the cloud, you need to know your system’s capacity. If you have an in-house IT personnel, have him assess the system requirements of the cloud and see if it matches yours.
You need to have high specs in your RAM and hard drive. Remember that data will be downloaded and uploaded to the cloud. Hence, you will also need high-speed and uninterrupted internet connection.
Ask your provider as well to give you a heads up on the system specs you will need so you can prepare for it.
3. Security. If your data involves a lot of confidential documents, you need to think twice before shifting to the cloud. While cloud computing provides the convenience of 24/7 data access, it also posts the risk of a security breach.
This is where you need to read the fine print before you sign your provider’s contract. You also need to look at your contract with your clients to whom you owe certain confidential information.
You need to seek high-level security from your cloud computing provider if you have a lot of classified data.
4. Cost. Not all cloud computing providers are affordable. For a big business, cloud computing is a good option. But for a start-up business, it can be quite expensive.
Providers usually have packages for small and medium-sized businesses. These packages are a good starting point if you want to shift to the cloud early on in your business.
Have a look at your current expenses for your PCs and compare it to your expenses with cloud computing. You also need to factor in the maintenance cost in your computation. Depending on the size of your business, you also need to consider the cost for upgrades.
5. Back up. When your internet connection fails, you need to have an immediate back up for your files. This is one primary consideration you need to look at. You cannot entirely depend on cloud computing for your storage.
When there’s disruption in your internet, you need to continue with your operations and you need access to your files. Ask your provider if they will be able to provide you with a back up for your data.
You also need to prepare your own contingency plan from your in-house IT experts when this happens. If your business relies heavily on the data stored in the cloud then an efficient back-up system is a pre-requisite for you.
Cloud computing ultimately gives you the convenience and mobility you need for your business. If you’re unsure on the processes involved in the cloud, don’t hesitate to consult an IT expert first.
Talk to other business owners who currently uses cloud computing and ask for its pros and cons. Hearing testimonials on the advantages and disadvantages of the cloud will help you decide better if you’ll go for it or not.
There are risks involved in cloud computing but if after thorough study you’ve come up with the conclusion that your business will function better with it, then by all means shift to the cloud.
About the Author: Vanessa Parks is a Freelance Systems Analyst with 5 Years of solid experience. She has been an advocate of cloud computing and unified communications for improved work efficiency and performance. She also has a passion in dancing, cooking and playing golf.