Your data is in the cloud – but what does that really mean for your business? In the past, organizations of all shapes and sizes worried about the safety of storing data in the cloud. But, many companies are changing their tune, and various cloud-based apps promise increased transparency and security.
How Cloud-Based Apps Can Help Small Businesses
Benefits of the Cloud
While the benefits of the cloud will depend on individual service providers and what they offer, some of the most commonly cited benefits include:
- Access to data wherever and whenever
- Disaster recovery and multiple backups copies of data
- Increased collaboration
Moving to the cloud can help businesses stay competitive in their industries, and the flexibility of cloud-based business applications allows your company to scale up or scale down easily based on your bandwidth.
Are they Secure?
While some companies hold hard and fast to their hard drives, many tech giants are on board with the cloud, claiming that cloud-based apps are the way forward. At the 2014 RSA Conference, panelists from both Microsoft and Google claimed that the cloud is secure enough for businesses to safely use, and Google Director of Security for Google Apps Eran Feigenbaum even stated, “We do use some competitors’ cloud [systems] today. Some of their services are better than ours, and some of them use ours.”
The main issue most people have with storing your company’s data in the cloud is security. Cloud-based storage puts your info into someone else’s hands, and many worry about hacking, breaches, or other major issues.
The biggest thing your company needs to keep in mind if considering cloud-based storage is what security requirements you need off-the-bat, and then find a service provider that meets those needs.
One of the ways many applications handle this issue is through data encryption. In a BBC article, Ian Massingham of Amazon Web Services (AWS) explained that AWS has over 1,800 security controls, and customers can choose to control their own encryption keys and decide who has access to their applications. Many big cloud services also offer data protection both in transit and when data is at rest.
When considering a cloud-based application, it’s important to keep these things in mind, but data shows that if you choose a provider with adequate security, the cloud is not any more prone to attacks than traditional data storage methods.
It’s not so much where your data is, but how well you’re protecting it.
For more information on what your business needs to be doing to protect your data, check out this article from Entrepreneur.
How Can the Cloud Help My Business?
Interested in cloud-based storage for your business? Plenty of new start-ups have emerged that cater specifically to small businesses and their data needs. Check out this list from Business New Daily to learn about different providers and find a good fit for your company.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the uses of the cloud aren’t limited to data storage. Cloud-based business applications have come out in a variety of fields, like communication, e-commerce, task management, network monitoring, finance tools, and more. See PCMag’s list for a comprehensive run-down of over 30 different cloud-based business apps.
Many companies today use the cloud to improve their task management and strategic execution. The ability to share data, documents, and other information instantaneously helps teams stay connected and keep track of what their colleagues are working on.
The cloud doesn’t have to be some mysterious source of confusion and concern. With the right provider and tools, you can easily secure your data, improve your business operation, and scale up successfully.