Ten years ago, the word “cloud” conjured only the image of a fluffy white mass of water particles suspended in the sky.
Today, it brings to mind that mysterious spot in the ethereality of cyberspace where we store and retrieve our data.
It’s an image both comforting and frightening. We can easily store the vital information that enables our businesses to run smoothly, without the burden of physical record keeping. We can pull up our documents with the swipe of a touchscreen or the click of a mouse.
But always lurking is the threat of hackers purloining our sensitive info. Even worse is the issue of how to retrieve your business’ data in the event of a disaster.
Business owners and CIOs can resolve these issues by carefully researching cloud providers and choosing the one that best meets the needs of their companies.
Making cloud use simpler for business
Cloud computing initially appeared to add another layer of complexity to business processes. But cloud providers have simplifed use of the system and expanded its storage and retrieval capacity. Dave LeClair, Unitrends’ vice president of product marketing, says this work must continue at an accelerated pace.
“Cloud vendors need to simplify things with regard to [Back Up] and [Disaster Recovery],” he said. “A recent survey of 1,600 IT execs and admins showed a large percentage are still unsure about the cloud and find it difficult to sort through all the options.”
Still, the cloud is the present and the future of IT. So CIOs and IT managers should begin integrating cloud usage into their daily operations.
Giving business managers better control of their data
Since the inception of cloud computing, many business leaders worried about access – particularly by governments – to their uploaded information.
Would governments on the watch for military and security threats have unfettered access to the information? Where, in fact, would the data go?
LeClair says these questions remain as the cloud matures. He urges business CIOs to negotiate carefully with their cloud providers to learn where the data will be housed and who will have access to it.
Providing safe haven during disaster
The cloud has proved indispensible for protecting business data during times of physical or cyberspace turmoil. When a storm devastates a community, local business owners using the cloud can rest assured their data is waiting for them once they begin rebuilding.
The first step to successfully backing up your data, according to LeClair, is automating the process of upload to the cloud. The information must be routinely uploaded and, most importantly, business staff must regularly check to ensure the information arrived at the off-site server and can be easily retrieved.
Cloud computing has matured greatly since it burst onto the world scene. It continues to simplify data maintenance. Its next evolution can probably be described as cloudy, but the need for CIOs and IT managers to use it is as clear as a sunshiny day.
This guest post is courtesy of Stephanie McGuinn.