Once all the buzz and hype around "the Cloud" and the importance of various Cloud services has naturally died down, small business owners inevitably find themselves still contemplating the actual importance of Cloud storage and other Cloud services.
There are two myths that I would like to challenge briefly:
1. The cloud isn’t relevant enough for my business yet
2. My internal/on-premises data is safer than in the cloud
How relevant is the cloud?
The mere fact that a number of specialist Cloud service providers invest heavily in making services such as Cloud storage available should attests to the importance of the Cloud. The likes of DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. have risen up to offer cheaper pricing options in an attempt to attract people like you. Their goal is to lighten the costs associated with the IT infrastructural burden many small businesses could seriously do without. Simply put, with strategic use of various Cloud services small business owners such as yours can easily off-set a number of factors that would otherwise contribute to your overhead. The costs associated with hosting and maintaining physical IT equipment alone can be a big budget item if you did it correctly.
Am I really secured in the cloud?
Let’s really think about this now. Companies like DropBox have over 10k physical servers as well as utilizing Amazon S3 storage service. Then you look at Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Microsoft alone boast spending over $997 million on just one datacenter located in Virginia. I think that amount of money merits some serious consideration for redundancy, security and reliability.
The costs associated with running and maintaining your own servers do not only take the form of power consumption and performance monitoring, but also include the all-important security factor. This is where dedicated Cloud services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox and many others effectively come into play. These dedicated specialist Cloud solutions service providers dedicate a lot of their operational resources to ensuring their clients, people like you, never have to worry about problems. Things such as securing your data, data privacy and even losing data due to the various factors like power outages, getting hacked, or just failing to set up the proper storage devices can all be thwarted or avoided by utilizing Cloud services.
The major Cloud service providers are aware of the concerns surrounding privacy issues, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some research yourself. Understanding how Cloud storage can assist you in managing your data, high availability of your content and even managing different software platforms can help you do more with less. Alleviating your IT cost doesn’t mean you don’t need an IT person, so I am not encouraging ditching humans for the cloud either.
Consider your options, do your homework and go for it. The Cloud - as it's termed - is here to stay, so you might as well make the most of it before you spend too much trying to build your own Cloud internally.