What was once a novel resource sharing concept is now a cost-saving reality. Cloud computing, or the process of using remote servers and Internet resources to manage business and other data, is now mainstream. As a business owner, what do you need to know?
Whether your business is large or small, affordable, effective data management and Internet agility is vital to be competitive in any market. Protection of your information is essential.
For smaller businesses, public cloud computing allows you to take advantage of hardware resources that could be financially out of reach otherwise. In a public setting, you pay for the resources you use.
Private cloud computing is offered and operated for individual companies. The control offered over the computing environment is essential for those with high security and privacy needs.
When headed for the clouds, consider these tips:
Understand where your data resides. Is specific private hardware dedicated to your business information, or are you space sharing with other businesses?
Ask about security protocols and procedures. If you do not understand the explanation, ask again. If you operate under strict privacy regulation, ensure your cloud computing environment does, too.
Talk about who is handling your data. Ensure your own employees know the capabilities and limitations of a shared computing environment, and make sure your data center understands the unique requirements of your business. If answers are not clear, go elsewhere.
Back up your data. Clouds are not always up there, but you need your data on demand. Educate all employees on proper back-up procedures.
Many data centers offer cloud customization. Investigate your software, data and security needs as you develop your cloud plan.
Before you sign a user agreement, speak to a business law attorney to ensure privacy and security needs are covered. While working in the cloud, it is important your business is safe on the ground.