Despite the fact that it’s been around a long time, cloud computing has only recently begun to gain acceptance in the business community. Organizations have come to understand that cloud-based computing is convenient and cost-effective and that it reduces administrative, energy, and infrastructure costs as well as permitting telecommuting. Yet, in spite of these benefits, doubts about the efficacy of cloud computing remain, most of which are tied to questions of security and reliability.
As it turns out, storing data in the cloud offers businesses on-demand access and, even more importantly, maximum protection of their information. As complicated as cloud-computing appears to some, the safeguards it provides are actually very straightforward. Consider the following benefits:
- On-demand, real-time access, regardless of location. When essential personnel people need data, whether it be sales numbers, contact details, or proprietary information, they’ll be able to access it anytime, anywhere–and with as much security as if they were sitting in the IT department. This becomes even more important when catastrophe strikes.
- What’s the worst that could happen? The greatest fear faced by any business is an IT disaster. It might be due to infrastructure failure. Perhaps an actual natural disaster is to blame (e.g., power outages). And like most natural disasters, the results can be catastrophic. Loss of project files, customer records, or other critical data can result in long-term, if not permanent (and in the most extreme cases, fatal) damage to an enterprise. With data stored online, recovery is instantaneous and complete, potentially saving a company millions in lost work, productivity, and perhaps even legal costs.
- Compliant or complicit? Record-keeping in many industries is governed by a statutory and/or regulatory scheme (e.g., HIPAA, PCIDSS, SOX,, etc.). In addition to the examples above, disaster can also take the form of loss caused by failure to adequately safeguard certain information related to individuals, clients, the industry or even to matters of national interest. Storing data in a secure cloud server protects it; not doing so might open an organization to charges that it failed to follow best practices to protect its information and may even have failed to comply with applicable statutes/regulations.
- The silver lining. In addition to providing data security, cloud computing can secure additional revenue as well. Superior data protection combined with the ability to access customer information when needed is sure to impress, generating confidence that the company is fully capable of meeting customer demands.