Is storing data in the cloud your best option?

With last week’s Dreamforce conference, the cloud computing industry event of the year, the buzz about the cloud is in the air. Many business and IT professionals flocked to Dreamforce to evaluate new cloud computing software and to obtain some guidance on distinguishing one solution from another By definition, the cloud is merely a fancy name for hardware and software that is delivered as a service over the Internet. Some organizations design, build and operate their own private cloud, while other smaller groups or specialized users use third-party, password protected clouds for their daily dose of data. The cloud is practically middle-aged technology now. Our introduction to it came with a sound bite we all came to know and love in the 90s—you’ve got mail! This delightful message from AOL was a message brought to you through the cloud.

Here are 4 Things to think about when evaluating the cloud:

1. Risky Security

Any time data is placed in the cloud, risk of breach and loss emerges and multiplies. Passwords alone are not enough, especially if they are on sticky notes next to our PC. The beauty of the cloud is its lack of physical borders. But, with this freedom comes risk of intrusion from folks very, very far away and with a wide variety of intentions from disruption, theft, or just plain electronic horseplay. An organization should think long and hard about large data storage in the cloud and always maintain paper copies in some manner.

2. Affordable Applications

Companies are popping up out of the woodworks (350 cloud computing companies were at Dreamforce alone). They are all building robust Software As A Service (SAAS) products, enabling users to make some custom adjustments, so that they may function at a very high level with minimal dependence on IT. The good ones, like Salesforce, are more expensive but well worth it.

3. Reliable Accessibility

Sure, the cloud makes it possible to access your data from anywhere——your phone, tablet, laptop, or (almost extinct) desktop computer. However, the most common mistake firms make, especially small businesses, is using the cloud as their primary and/or only back up resource to restore large backup data – here’s why:
  • First, the amount of data firms accumulate and need to restore take an exceptionally long time, regardless of the speed. For some groups, this waiting / downtime cost may far outweigh the economic benefits.
  • Second, and most important reason is that the cloud is only good if you and your cloud provider are up, running, and able to stream these large amounts of data. How will you recover in the case of a power outage, server crash, or a natural emergency? A local, physical copy is a must.

4. What’s Your Disaster Recover Plan?

There are plenty of great reasons to consider the Cloud and the applications that depend upon it. And the SAAS providers you are using likely have a disaster recovery plan for their own business from which you are partially covered. But, what’s yours? As Disaster Recovery and Risk Management professionals, Corodata strongly advises that you keep your back up paper and data files nearby and off-site. Corodata’s Records Storage and Media Storage offers just this service and functions as the cheapest “insurance” you could ever purchase for such an occasion.

Taking Control of Inactive Records with Corodata

Properly labeling and tracking inactive files, and moving them safely offsite, can save your company space, time and money; remove the threat of losing documents; providing easy retrieval of files when needed, and set your reputation as a secure company.

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