If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably come across the concept of cloud services in the past few years. In one 2019 survey, 94% of businesses that responded stated they were already using some type of cloud-based service. And cloud solutions are becoming ever more popular as they provide a secure remote solution for businesses transitioning to remote work models.
But if, like most people, you’re not an IT expert, you might not understand exactly what the mysterious “cloud” is. However, it’s beneficial to know how the cloud operates, as well as its advantages and pitfalls to beware of, in order to make an informed decision about your data and storage.
So before you go all in with transitioning your systems to cloud storage, check out the information and tips below to learn how to get the reliable cloud support you need.
What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud computing involves storing your data on a remote server and then accessing it over the internet. This allows you to reach your data from anywhere you can get internet access instead of only at your office or the physical location of your servers.
A private cloud hosts your information on your own hardware and infrastructure, while a public cloud hosts your data elsewhere using a provider’s equipment. Although the name “cloud computing” is fairly new, this type of remote hosting has been available for decades under different names, including terminal and mainframe, hosted services, and VPS (virtual private server).
Cloud computing offers the great advantage of remote access to data and applications, as well as often giving you increased security and decreased cost. But the advantages you gain will depend on the cloud service provider you work with, as well as how you access and utilize cloud computing. Here are some things you should do, and not do, when it comes to choosing a cloud provider and operating on the cloud.
Be Picky About Your Provider
All cloud providers are not created equal. As you start planning your transition to the cloud, you’ll want to choose your provider carefully to ensure you’re getting access to a secure server. Your provider should have a dedicated server for domain control and cloud file storage. A reputable provider will have strong, secure servers and encryption that will keep your data safe from cyber attacks.
Find a Provider with Independent Backups
When evaluating cloud providers, you should ask about their information backup. Good providers will back up your data using a secondary independent vendor to ensure that it is retrievable in case of emergency or server failure.
Use Additional Security Resources
You can also utilize an enterprise-grade VPN firewall to access cloud resources, as this will keep your transactions secure with an additional layer of security as you access your data.
Choose an Untrustworthy Provider
A cloud provider you should not do business with is one that spreads its servers too thin trying to perform many functions. Their router and encryption will be weak and susceptible to attacks, and they won’t store backups of your data. You should stay away from any cloud providers who seem inexperienced or suspicious; there are enough to choose from that you should be able to find an experienced, secure provider to work with.
Ditch Your Other Security Measures
Although business owners cite security as the biggest benefit of cloud services, they also paradoxically note that it is the factor presenting the biggest challenge, according to one survey of IT professionals. And that’s a valid point on both counts: although cloud computing can offer you greater security, you need to take care to continue best practices and work with reputable providers to take full advantage of that security.
Transfer Everything at Once
When you start using cloud storage, you should also avoid transferring everything in your systems just for the sake of transferring. Some operations are actually still better off on your servers. An IT expert can help you distinguish between what should stay and what should go.
Work with an IT Expert
If you’re considering moving your data to the cloud, it’s a good idea to hire the help of an experienced IT company that can guide you through the process. There are many aspects to consider when you migrate to a cloud-based storage system, but a Managed Service Provider can help you navigate them all and access the full advantages of cloud computing.