So, you are considering moving your company’s data to the cloud? You are not alone. By 2018, the market worldwide for cloud computing equipment is expected to reach more than $79 billion. IT services are increasingly using cloud technology. At present, 35% is done entirely or at least partially on the cloud. Even the federal government is getting in on the action. It is moving its IT services to a cloud computing moel as a cost savings measure. The process of making the transition can be a daunting one. Cloud consultants recommenf the following 5 tips to companies looking to make that jump.
- Back up all of your data. This is something you really should do regardless of whether you want to move to the cloud or not. It is exponentially more important, however, if you are moving to the cloud to back everything up on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this step is frequently overlooked when companies move to the cloud. Remember, when you back up your data, you are doing more than protecting that information but, more importantly, you are protecting your company. Cloud consultants like to remind businesses that regardless of the size of your company, you can lose a lot by not backing up your data.
- Be able to point to your data. It is hard to feel totally secure or be totally secure when you are not sure where your data actually is. Cloud service brokers should be able to find a service that can let you see where exactly your data will be housed. Yes, your data should be secured by firewalls, data encryption software and the like but what will happen should the company you have contracted with to provide your cloud services goes out of business? What happens if you do not like the service provided and want to go someplace else? You are in a much stronger position if you know where your data is located.
- Go with a company that takes security as seriously as you. Cloud consultants recommend looking into how seriously the data center you have selected actually takes security. They are all going to say it is their number one priority but you need to know that they follow through on that promise. Find out what protocols they have in place and if they have the proper SSAE 16, SAS 70 and SOC 2 credentials. How do they treat their clients who have to comply with PCI or HIPAA?
- What do their clients think of them? When you are talking to cloud brokerage services companies, ask if you can talk to their current or former clients. Cloud consultants agree that this is one of the best ways to select a cloud services broker. They may talk a good game with you, the potential client but their current or former clients can tell you what working with them is really like. Do not just go by testimonials they have on their website. It is unfortunate to think that companies would make up testimonials but they do. At the very least check to make sure the companies they list as offering good references exist or have existed.
- Try to hack your account. You have done your research, you have interviewed different cloud service brokers and cloud consultants and your new system is all set up. Now is not the time to think things can just run on their own. This is a start and hopefully things will run smoothly but you should always planning on testing any system yourself. You do not have to go as far as to hire hackers but you should test the systems anyway.
Some companies are wary of moving their data and operations to the cloud but usually that is because they are unclear on the process and kind of fearful of the unknown. Cloud consultants can make the transition go smoothly and painlessly. They can also help you get the most out of using the cloud. Companies that make the jump find it has improved their workflow. Almost 60% find their companies work better after making the move.