- by David, "The Conscience", Quiram.
So the buzz word these days is cloud computing, you can use it to free your staff from their desks, you can use it to access applications data anywhere for a reasonable cost, you can use it to save your company. All these are true according to ads and blogs (including one of my own). But can it really. What do we know about the cloud industry? Is the cloud ready for true disaster recovery?
The cloud has been around since the internet, as it is the internet. It’s like the way we name oceans, they are all one big ocean connected, but we segment them for our own understanding. So it isn't some new technology from on high. It is just a new way of using what is there.
While there are opportunities to improve your processes, budgets, and disaster recovery using this technology, the truth of it is that you are just trading the risks you had onsite to the risks inherent in the cloud computing and resources. There are risks that most people don't understand or are even aware of.
No one really questions if the internet could ever fail as a whole, if it did, where would the cloud computing be then? Where is the disaster recovery you were depending on? Where is that spreadsheet you needed for the meeting? You don't know. I don't mean to sound like an alarmist, I like the resources and opportunities of cloud computing, but I am also very aware of its vulnerabilities and the risks I will take using it.
The companies that offer cloud based resources are all working in the wild west. There isn't' much regulation to maintain the integrity of the industry, there are major players but they are feeling out the business as much as the smaller companies, they just have the advantage of being able to make more mistakes due to their budget. The technology is constantly improving and changing, the needs of the users are still being discovered. There are niches to be filled and plenty of opportunities to grow and create great offers and services. But the business practices are still immature and there really isn’t a standard to dictate best practices. It is the Precambrian explosion for cloud computing, anything goes, and what does not work will die out.
The cloud options are attractive, but it definitely is ‘buyers beware’ market. Unless you stipulate in a contract, you will not control where your data rests. There will be third party employees who will have access to the data. Again, contracts are what are going to limit that liability. But what if the company goes under or is bought out; you are at risk of data loss when there wasn't even a site loss.
Like all decisions that involve the disaster recovery of your company's data and assets, you need to weigh the risks, all of them. Do the research; look for the words behind the ads and buzz speak. You are the first step to a successful disaster recovery and you choose the tools you use….choose wisely.
Don't get caught making hasty decisions. If you need some help, be sure to let us know and we can help you along your cloud computing route. Jenkintown or Doylestown; we can help!