The old age saying, “Sky is the limit” resonates VERY well with cloud computing, given all the benefits it offers businesses of all sizes in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and collaboration.
However, there are certain things you need to know to keep your risks down to bare minimum.
Related article: What is cloud computing?
Here are 7 things you should know about cloud computing:
1. Going cloud means storing your files over the Internet (the cloud): – All your stuffs – electronic files, software, applications, documents, and virtually everything – are stored in a gigantic “off-site” hard drives, and you can access them using your web browsers through your PC, mobile phones, tablet with an Internet connection. That means your files could be stored in a remote giant server in Minnesota or something.
Related article: 7 Awesome Benefits of Using Cloud Computing
2. You are already floating in the “cloud”: – If you are already using web email and photo-sharing sites, which means you are already using cloud services. In a recent survey conducted by the NPD Group, over 76% people responded saying they had used these web services in the past, but only 22% of them actually were familiar with the term “cloud computing”.
3. Free up IT staff’s time: – A good chunk of an IT staff’s time is spent on managing, troubleshooting, and maintaining the equipment. Cloud computing provider offer both the IT infrastructure solution as well as management services, allowing you to offload those tasks to the provider, while freeing up your IT staff who can engage in other important task of your business.
4. Clear `the clutter off the desk: – You get free storage as well as a range of services using the cloud, for both personal and professional use. For instance, MediaFire, a cloud storage service, offers up to 10 GB free storage, which is enough to hold 5-6 HD quality movie; Mega offers 50 GB free storage.
In addition to offering e-mail, Google allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and calendars (for free). Likewise, Spotify, an internet based music service, offers millions of songs for free, not to mention the usage of its unlimited storage for first six months.
Related article: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid In the Cloud
5. Encrypt your information from the start: – Make sure to encrypt your information right from the start, which is VERY important for documents containing your social security number. Look for “https://” at the start of a website’s URL; s meaning secure. Also, check the site making sure that the data is encrypted when it is stored.
Always use cloud services from well-established companies having strong reputations like Google, OneDrive, and Salesforce. For additional level of security, encrypt your Word documents as well as Excel files before storing them in the cloud (you can do this by clicking the Microsoft Office button, and then clicking “Prepare” and then choosing “Encrypt Documents”).
6. Support cloud back up with alternate option: – Over 25 million accounts were affected when Dropbox had a data theft back in 2011. Though only tiny percentages of users were affected, you could be the next victim. Experts recommend that you support the cloud storage with an external hard drive and encrypt all your files. If someone steals it, they will not be able to scramble the data without your password
7. Boost your business success: – Business owners have access to sophisticated technologies at very low costs, which mean huge savings in a software and energy costs just by moving from an e-mail program to web-based mail and transforming from anti-virus protection to cloud software. For instance, Box.com lets you manage all your personal information, no matter where you are located.