With the maturity of the innovation and infrastructure supporting it, the application of cloud computing has become an indispensable part of business technology. In fact, the growth in revenue generated by cloud computing has been cited as the primary reason that technology giants, like Microsoft and Amazon, report higher earnings – in some cases, even more than the value analysts had predicted during Q2 and Q3 of 2017.
Earlier in 2017, Microsoft raised a few flags when analysts noted signs that the cloud’s seemingly unending growth, had begun to slow. However, by the end of October 2017, their actual earnings were higher than expected – with cloud computing services driving profits. Amazon Web Services growth has slowed down a bit. However, they still maintain the highest share of the cloud market.
Cloud computing has certainly come a long way since it was first introduced. As with any new technology, there were some significant kinks to work out before it was accepted as mainstream. Here’s a look at a few items that used to be an issue for cloud computing, but have since been turned into an asset:
Many cloud users–especially enterprises that absolutely depend on it–fear that someday, the cloud will experience a major outage that completely prevents access to important information and assets. Even worse, they fear this happening without having a clue about how long any hypothetical outages will last until operations can resume as intended. Thankfully, most cloud providers will offer “zero downtime” guarantees, redundancy, multiple geographies, and so much more, all to keep you connected to important information that might be stored in the cloud. All that remains is finding one that suits your organization.
Security and Control
Data and network security is a major factor for any technology you implement for your enterprise. Up until recently, companies felt that storing data on site was the best option for ensuring security and control. There was some fear that the lack of direct control over the security of cloud-based solutions could result in a data breach without them even being made aware of it until it’s too late to do anything. The truth of the matter is that data is always going to be at risk–regardless of where it’s stored. If it’s connected to the Internet, it’s at risk. It’s up to your enterprise how you want to manage this risk.
If you store your data infrastructure in-house on company-run servers, you have the option of implementing secondary security features, like a Unified Threat Management tool, to ensure your data is protected. It’s no wonder that you might prefer the control and reassurance of managing your own in-house cloud infrastructure. However, private clouds–and even hybrid clouds–are making strides in security practices that present valuable opportunities for enterprises. Take the time to educate yourself about how your cloud provider handles security. Here are some services that you might want to check for:
- Automated security checks
- Secure cloud data storage
- Storing non-sensitive data in the cloud
- Virtual private networks for secure access
- Military-grade data encryption
Loss of Data in the Cloud
With so much data being stored in one place, it’s understandable for enterprises to worry about what would happen if this data were lost. If you know where to look, there are ways to keep this from happening. A great way to ease your concerns about data recovery is to follow The 3-2-1 Rule. Meaning, you should have three total backups of your data–two of which are located on-site, on different storage mediums, and one located off-site in a secure environment like a data center.
Enterprises that rely on a third party to ensure that they remain compliant with various standards, such as HIPAA or HITECH, could very well lead to compliance issues that your enterprise can’t control. In cases such as this, it’s important to educate yourself on these standards and what your enterprise’s obligations are for them. Most cloud providers are fully aware of what must be done for compliance, and they are willing to work with you to ensure that all obligations are met. Just ask them before you invest in a cloud provider, as it is likely that they are doing more than you think they are, regarding compliance.