More and more companies are moving their data to the cloud – but what’s the big deal? At what cost or gain? While cloud services are trending, it’s not entirely clear what the big deal is. Allow us to clarify.
What’s Changed (And What Hasn’t)
Cloud computing harnesses the power and accessibility of the internet to give companies ultimate data accessibility and flexible storage. While enterprises have been taking advantage of cloud solutions for years, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) recently got on board as well, primarily to take advantage of enterprise-level resources at an affordable cost.
According to Gartner, global users of cloud capabilities cite cost, innovation and agility as some of their top reasons for making the switch. By moving to the cloud, users no longer have to deal with the complicated maintenance and management of the systems storing their data. Instead, companies gain the expertise of the cloud host, including simplified and centralized management.
That being said, cloud computing isn’t entirely game-changing. For instance, disaster recovery (DR) plans and data storage are rarely left entirely to cloud-based solutions. While traditional tape storage is becoming less of a primary backup strategy, it’s often maintained for long-term archiving of critical data (whether for legal or proprietary purposes).
Regardless, today’s DR plans and backups involve some kind of cloud solution more often than not, whether alone or in combination with tape.
The Challenges Companies Forget About
The cloud might seem like an ideal, all-in-one solution, but there are a lot of challenges most users aren’t aware of. Some of these include:
- Knowing exactly where your data is stored
- Knowing exactly who has access to your data
- Migrating data from legacy systems to the cloud
- Establishing a reliable network to send data to the cloud
This all boils down to the difference between the public, private, and hybrid clouds. While public and hybrid clouds can be cheaper solutions, they can also pose a security risk since companies don’t know exactly where their data is being stored, or exactly who has access to it. This is why many companies instead opt for private cloud hosting, especially when it comes to their compliant data.
Another challenge is migrating data to the cloud, something particularly tricky for legacy system users. Because some SMBs have small IT departments (even as little as one person), allocating the time and resources to make the move can be very inconvenient.
Why The Trend Is Here To Stay
Despite these challenges, cloud solutions allow companies to streamline their data with scalable and highly accessible storage. With cloud storage, employees can collaborate from remote sites, crashed or stolen computers aren’t at risk of losing all of their data, and for those using a private cloud, regulatory compliance can be significantly easier to meet because of redundant data stores and increased data availability.
With a private cloud, your company knows exactly where its data is stored and who has access to it. We provide private cloud hosting because we know how critical it is that companies get the security and support they need – something any CIO or engineer can appreciate.
On the cloud, your data can also be made resilient to downtime and data loss with disaster recovery (DR) and high availability (HA) solutions provided by the cloud host, which does make cloud solutions seem like a one-stop-shop in a way. But whether companies are tying all of their security and storage into a cloud solution or not, it’s clear that this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
For more information about IBM cloud computing, data storage and security, contact us today at 317-707-3941.