When you save files on your computer or USB, you have probably already set up a folder structure to suit your needs, and you know exactly where you are placing the files for storage and retrieval.
Cloud computing is a term used to refer to storing and accessing data and programs over the internet. At a simplistic level, the cloud is a network of connected servers. Typically cloud service providers have systems comprising thousands of servers stored in enormous data centres or server warehouses.
You may not know whereyour data is being physically held, as the provider may be based in the UAE for example, but their servers might be in China, the USA, or anywhere else in the world. In addition to storing data, you may also use software from the cloud, known as SaaS or Software as a Service.
You can access any of your data stored in the cloud via the internet by logging in to the cloud service platform of your chosen provider – using any device, from any location, and at any time.
On a personal level, you are probably already using cloud computing daily to send emails, create and edit documents, store pictures, listen to music, or play games online.
However, many people hesitate to move their organisational data or systems into the cloud, and their concerns tend to centre around three critical misconceptions:
1. the cloud is not secure
2. using the cloud is expensive
3. you lose control of your data security
1. The cloud is not secure:
Security is one of the most common concerns. As cloud-based systems and data are available anytime and from any device, there is a perception that protection is low, and anyone can access your information. Although no IT systems are ever completely secure, for many companies, cloud computing offers the safest environment possible for their needs.
Cloud service providers typically provide multi-layered security and anti-virus protection at a lower cost than if you were to try to manage this in-house. Also, they take care of software updates and patches to ensure that they have the latest protection in response to any external threats.
2. Using the cloud is expensive:
When you place your data in the cloud, you will typically pay for only the services you use. This means that you do not have redundant systems and you lower operating costs whilst being able to scale up your operations whenever needed. Cloud computing provides you with improved collaboration and productivity and removes the need for you to purchase and manage expensive hardware infrastructure. The software is continuously updated, and the service platform provider takes care of your disaster recovery needs.
3. You lose control of your data security:
Protecting your data is ultimately the responsibility of those that have access to it. Careless use of browsers in public places can leave your systems open to access by non-authorised individuals.
Similarly, losing a laptop or mobile device can compromise your cloud security if someone can gain access to your login information. The only recourse is to ensure that everyone who has access to your systems and data in the cloud is aware of the consequences of careless use and lack of attention to security risks.
Cloud-based computing is not fault-proof, and of course, you can experience outages or server failures. Still, cloud use is increasing significantly and, if you select your service provider carefully, it can be a very secure and cost-effective way to manage your IT demands.
Contact us at HRBluSky today to learn how you can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.