Apple has recently announced the launch of its own bet for the cloud computing platform, iCloud. It seems that cloud computing is being looked into not only by business owners but consumers as well. Today, it doesn’t matter whether you have a 4GB USB flash drive or an external hard drive. Those gadgets may become obsolete like the floppy disks we used back in the day.
As a consumer, I might not be completely sold on being in the cloud although there are many benefits such as photo storage, video storage, etc. None of us want to lose those precious memories, right? But as a business owner, the benefits give me enough reason to stop being conservative on taking my business to the cloud and here is why.
According to a recent press release by The Art of Service and Ivanka Menken, moving into the cloud is essential for businesses for small businesses disaster recovery. And admittedly, it makes a lot of sense. Unexpected disaster strike when we least expect it. Company giants can survive even though it may take them months to rebuild because their data is not in one location. But small businesses that are not in the cloud have a dismal chance of ever recovering our data because it’s under lock and key in our small offices on one device. Once disaster strikes, our data might as well have never existed since there would be little to no chance of retrieving it.
Small businesses generally do not have enough manpower or their own dedicated IT. Fewer than 50 employees means that you have to pull your own weight and this means, we do not have the luxury of having a full-force IT staff on the wing. Taking your business to the cloud means less IT staff and cost savings, but it doesn’t mean that your business would suffer.
Cloud computing also means lower capital expenses plus it would enable you to predict a spending model for your company and a higher productivity rate. There are of course risks that may serve as an impediment but depending on your business needs, cloud computing may be more than just a passing trend.
If you are already using applications such as Intuit QuickBooks or Citrix GoToMeeting, you are already using cloud solutions. So the benefits of cloud computing aren’t really strange or unheard-of. We use various cloud solutions to save time, to be more efficient, so that our tasks would be more unified, making us available to actually run our business and serve our customers instead of being bogged down by manually doing our business accounting tasks or what-have-you.
However, as with anything in life, there are some drawbacks and unexpected disasters strike even the big guys. Take, for example, the recent crash of Amazon’s Web Services Servers. And there are also the notorious outages of Google’s Gmail and Calendar services. So what are the reasons that one may consider avoiding the cloud? A few would be the outages, accessibility by third parties to our data, security breaches like the one Epsilon experienced and costs.
Although there may be some drawbacks concerning the move to the cloud, in my opinion, you’re still better off doing so. Outages and security breaches can and will, most likely, continue to happen from time to time. Let’s face it, we can’t control everything all the time, especially when the bad guys are working so hard at conquering these items. But I do think that your chances of recovery are better in the cloud and I also think that you’re chances of being breached are less in the cloud.
If you’re not currently conducting business in the cloud, what are your reasons for not taking part in this IT evolution? And what do you think about cloud security – better than what you can provide for yourself or still too risky for you?