Fear of the cloud - beating cloud-phobia

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Date: 30 June 2020

Smiling face formed from clouds in a blue sky

Still not embraced cloud computing in 2020? You're in the minority – most businesses have now made the leap. That said, roughly 10% of businesses remain reluctant to use any cloud service. If you're part of this 10%, now could be the time to overcome your cloud-phobia.

Why some companies still fear the cloud

There are a number of different reasons why some companies still haven't made the shift to cloud computing services. These include:

  • General tech-phobia and a lack of understanding as to what the cloud is and its benefits.
  • Fears surrounding the time and effort required to move everything to cloud.
  • Security concerns about putting data in the control of a third-party and a lack of trust in cloud security methods.
  • Fear of added costs as a result of adopting the cloud.

Almost all businesses have these fears before adopting the cloud. But as many companies realise, these fears are largely unjustified. Below are just a few solutions to each of these fears.

What is the cloud – and what are its benefits?

Afraid of the cloud because you're not entirely sure what it is? While there are many online guides to the cloud, not all of them are entirely straightforward.

The cloud can be explained simply like this: switching to the cloud is like putting your money in a bank instead of keeping it at home in a safe. Instead of storing your data on your computers' hard drives or on a local server, your data gets stored on a remote server. These remote servers are guarded by digital security far beyond that of your average computer or local server (more of this explained later).

The cloud has many of the same benefits as a bank. Just as a bank allows you to access your money from cash points around the world, the cloud allows you to access your data from any device in any location. And just as you may have a shared account, you can also allow multiple people (ie a team of employees) to have access to your cloud storage, providing that they have log-in details.

The cloud makes it easy for you and your employees to work from the office or to work from home. Multiple people can access the same document at the same time. This makes it possible to monitor and edit people's work, regardless of where they are working from.

Just as there are different types of banks, there are different types of cloud providers. Each cloud provider has its own benefits – which is why it's worth shopping around.

Why migrating to the cloud is easy

Some people fear that moving an entire database to the cloud will be complicated and time-consuming. If your files are scattered all over the place, it can be tricky. But the benefits of having all this information centralised make it worth the effort.

Nowadays, it's generally easy to migrate to the cloud. Many programs now have new cloud versions that will easily migrate all your information over for you. You can also look into specialist migration services such as an AWS database migration service. Such services can automate the migration process so that you don't have to manually migrate everything.

Why cloud computing is a secure option

Just as putting your money in a bank rather that keeping it at home is safer, using the cloud has numerous security advantages. If you are targeted by burglars, your office burns down or you are the victim of a natural disaster, your data will still be backed up and safe.

Cloud servers use advanced security methods to keep your data safe. Data is heavily encrypted using methods such as 'sharding', which involves storing different parts of data in different places (so that even if a hacker gets through they'll only be able to access part of the information). Cloud servers are monitored 24/7 by cybersecurity experts and are constantly being maintained and updated.

The cloud is not 100% secure of course – but neither is your local bank. Often the biggest point of weakness is a company's log-in details. Using a simple password, will make it easy for hackers to access your data. It's possible to add multiple layers of authentication ranging from multiple passwords to facial recognition. This can make your cloud data more secure.

It's worth also comparing different cloud providers and choosing only companies that you trust. Many modern companies have even started using multiple cloud providers – backing up data in different places just in case.

Why cloud computing is cost-efficient

Most cloud providers charge a service fee. There are free cloud services – but they offer limited data storage or only allow you to store data in certain formats.

This is an extra cost to consider – storing data on local hard-drives is free after all. However, the convenience that the cloud can bring can make it cost-efficient. It could allow certain employees to work from home, allowing you to downsize your office. You also don't need to invest in machines or local servers with quite as much storage space.

Costs vary between providers and can be dependent on the level of data storage that you need. It's worth comparing various cloud providers to get the best deal. By looking out for deals, you can often save money.

You don't have to go all in…

Many companies aren't run entirely in the cloud. Some companies use it simply as a backup solution. Some companies use it only for certain information, preferring to store other data locally.

All companies can benefit from using the cloud for certain purposes. However, you don't have to go all in. You could start by only backing up certain important data such as sensitive customer and employee information. Migrating this data over could be easier, less costly and security will be less of a concern if you've still got local versions of this data.  

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler

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