It’s almost impossible to discuss scaling or modern technological advances without discussing “the cloud.” Where does your business stand when it comes to leveraging the benefits of cloud technology? If your business has been mulling the idea of implementing cloud technology for one reason or another, here are 6 things you should consider before moving to the cloud.
1. How Will You Use The Cloud?
Before you migrate to the cloud, it is extremely important that you know how your organization is going to use the cloud. You’ll need to take time to fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of this powerful technology. There are a few cloud technologies that stand out as beneficial for both SMBs and large organizations alike including hosting your email services, disaster recovery, and hosting your company’s services in the cloud. We’ll go over a few of these topics later in this article.
2. Understand The Core Advantages of the Cloud
Cloud technologies offer many distinct benefits over physical hosting solutions especially as costs are rising for physical server space. One of the most attractive reasons your organization may wish to move to the cloud includes the fact that cloud services typically don’t require up front investment of purchasing the latest hardware and software that physical locations require. A secondary benefit appears when there are reductions in operational costs and manpower due to the extremely low-cost cloud technologies offer.
3. Consider Your Security Risks
Security is an extremely important topic as of late due to the major intrusions and losses suffered by many of the largest enterprises in the world due to lax security measures and access control policies. Before moving to the cloud, you should consider your security needs and those of your partners to ensure that personally identifiable information (PII) data does not fall into the wrong hands or mistakenly become public knowledge. Many cloud providers offer (and follow) security best practices such as Amazon AWS.
Security risks involved in cloud computing that you need to be aware of include:
- Data loss
- Hacked interfaces and insecure APIs
- Data breaches
- Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
4. Who Will Manage Your Cloud Services?
Choosing the right cloud service provider (CSP) matters and can end up as one of your deciding factors as you consider whether or not moving to the cloud fits within your organization’s overall strategy and aligns with your current infrastructure plans. You’ll want to choose a cloud service provider, such as Liquid Web, that has many years of experience hosting and managing sensitive data from businesses within your industry and follows any and all requirements laid out by any regulatory bodies that oversee data integrity.
The major areas you’ll want to consider when choosing an appropriate CSP for your organization include:
- Certifications & Standards
- Technologies & Service Roadmap
- Data Security, Data Governance, and Business policies
- Service Dependencies & Partnerships
5. Hosted Email Services
Hosting your email services in the cloud can be a powerful win-win for your customers and your clients as well. There are a few areas you’ll need to consider before moving your email services to the cloud. One of the major benefits of hosting your email services is that they are segmented from your internal systems. This segmentation gives you the ability to control spam and/or isolate problems without widespread issues making their way to your internal systems. Hosted email services offer the opportunity to host your email and databases on redundant servers and leverage data replication to ensure your email database stays online and communication continues to flow freely.
6. Disaster Recovery
Disaster Recovery is one of the final considerations you’ll need to make before moving to the cloud. Ensuring your systems and data are secure and able to be accessed at all times is one of the most critical reasons to step back and think before moving to the cloud. Having a disaster recovery plan is key to avoiding this potential setback as is using dedicated server hosting. Before you choose your next Cloud Service Provider, ensure that your list includes providers that offer real-time monitoring and 100% Power & Network Uptime Guarantees to ensure your data is safe and secure. You can never be too careful given the recent rise in data instability and hacking threats.
Bottom Line: The Cloud Can Help You Scale
The bottom line of cloud computing is that it has tremendous benefits that can be leveraged for SMBs and enterprises alike looking to scale and thrive in this competitive climate. Data integrity, security, and uptime are many of the major considerations a business needs to work through before choosing to move to the cloud. Beyond these initial considerations, the sky is the limit!