- Is security important? Do you need to be HIPAA compliant? Are you regulated by the SEC?
It's no big secret that cloud file storage is NOT the most secure solution.
However, that should not discourage you from considering this for an option! There are so many benefits, such as cost, availability, and scalability, that can outweigh a small risk. Tarrytech uses Dropbox for our online file solution.
We do NOT keep any secure information in the cloud. All client critical data, passwords, and other security information is stored in a different solution. We do, however, use Dropbox for our proposals, marketing information, standard procedures, and other non-sensitive information.
Keep in mind, many online file systems do NOT meet HIPAA and SEC compliance standards, so be careful when considering this option if these regulations apply to you.
- Line-of-Business (LOB) Application
In my previous article, I mentioned that there are some great options to moving your LOB application to the cloud.
In weighing these options, I think the biggest consideration is AVAILABILITY. For example, if you are a business who doesn’t need to work in the office, or have remote sales staff or remote offices, moving your LOB application to the cloud can be a great solution.
However, consider a business that is dependent on their LOB application in-house. Tarrytech has a client that is a large beverage distributor, who is dependent on access to their LOB at all points of the day to prep and deliver their product.
Working remotely is not an option, as their product fulfillment occurs from their main warehouse. If their connection to the Internet failed, and they did not have access to their LOB in the morning, workflow stops, and they cannot deliver their product. In this case, if their server is in the office, an Internet outage would not prevent them from accessing their server.
Keep in mind that this does not mean they should not consider moving to the cloud. One might argue that risks of maintaining a local server (hardware crash, virus, no backup power) far outweigh the risks of moving it to the cloud.
Risks of moving your LOB to the cloud can be easily mitigated, but you must brainstorm, and create a solution for all possible failure scenarios should you choose to move your LOB to the cloud.
Moving to the cloud is (usually) not cheaper than keeping your on premise solutions. A huge advantage of moving your business to the cloud is not having to write a big fat check to upgrade your equipment all at once.
When considering the cloud option, you want to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO). Cloud solutions are usually rented monthly, and you obviously need to pay for this service for as long as you need it.
I usually find the ROI on purchasing and maintaining locally versus cloud solutions to be about 3 years. Beyond that, the cloud is usually the costlier option.
However, I am still a huge proponent of cloud solutions.
In my opinion, the benefits of moving your business to the cloud far outweighs the incremental cost increase.
Be certain to understand exactly how your data in the cloud is backed up! Do not assume that the cloud provider is keeping a sufficient copy of your information, or for a retention period that suits your needs.
Finally, consider how long it would take to recover this information should you need it.
As previously mentioned, the cloud has definitely matured, and should be considered as an option when upgrading your business.
There are more cost effective, stable, and scalable options available than ever, but you must be careful to address the items I have mentioned when considering this move to make sure the cloud will work for you!
Part one: Should I Move My Business to the Cloud?
About the author
As the President of Tarrytech Computer Consultants, James Kudla specializes in management, new product development and business development. James earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Binghamton University and holds many technical certifications including the MCSE, CCNA and CCNP. A former network systems engineer and network integrator, James brings our team 19 years of diverse IT industry experience. James and the talented team at Tarrytech are committed to Tarrytech’s mission, which is “To create and maintain harmony in your technical life through the design, installation, management, and support of smart technology solutions”.Website