Eliminating fear in the cloud

05.09.2018

It’s human nature to be fearful of unfamiliar situations, but in business this can hinder a company’s progression.  Here, James Bedford, Director of Infrastructure Services at CPiO Limited, looks at resolving the security fears many businesses have about moving to the cloud.

The notion of cloud computing dates back to the 1960s, but its prevalence has grown significantly since 2006. It was around this time that large corporations like Google and Amazon began coining the term to describe the shift of accessing software and files over the internet, instead of their desktop.

Now, cloud adoption has become integral to the operation of many businesses and it’s predicted that 83 per cent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. Despite this forecast, there are still several questions that cloud providers need to resolve to settle the fears of those that have not yet made the transition to cloud computing.

Many of the fears and misconceptions concerning the use of the cloud comes from a lack of understanding about the platform and its capability. For example, many business owners are reluctant to put their ERP or CRM software into the cloud but are often found to already be using cloud-based programmes for personal or business processes, such as Gmail for email and Dropbox for file storage.

While cloud storage has become more common, it’s argued that more organisations would store their data online if they could be certain of its security.

Visibility

With the introduction of the GDPR, data security has become a prominent focus for individuals and businesses. Now, one of the first questions that many businesses ask when looking to moving to the cloud is, how is the data stored and can it be viewed by others.

Often, cloud services are hosted in one country and used in others. In fact, cloud service providers may have data centres scattered around the world. For 46 per cent of businesses, not knowing the exact location of their data limits their use of the cloud. However, most data stored in the cloud is encrypted with a unique encryption key and without knowing the key, the data will appear meaningless to anyone who accesses it.

No matter where a business chooses to host its data, whether it is on a public cloud or stored on premise, companies should put security precautions in place to safeguard data.

Identity and access management is just one example that allows companies to restrict access to certain resources within a cloud system. Identity management can define what users can accomplish or access on the network depending on varying factors including the person’s location and device type.

Practical knowledge

In addition to security, some businesses have shown concerns about using the cloud due to their lack of particular IT management skills. One in three small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have reportedly claimed that not having sufficient knowledge about how to assess what is required or how to use management tools to accurately evaluate the consumption of IT resources, is a core reason for not being quick to adopt cloud computing.

To overcome the fear of the unknown, businesses can choose to use a Fully Hosted Managed Service (FHMS) model. A FHMS encompasses all of your company’s technology into one platform, so all information and applications are migrated to the cloud and delivered through a desktop session.

By allowing your IT to be handled by a service provider like CPiO, IT staff and their skills can be utilised elsewhere in the business, for example on developing other business systems or projects, to increase productivity and efficiency. In addition to managing your cloud service, CPiO Cloud offers a 99.5 per cent service level agreement (SLA) guarantee, that includes taking all possible steps to establish any threats in advance and offering cloud back-up and disaster recovery solutions in case of any possible breaches.

While many service providers use a range of data centres scattered across the globe, raising concerns about the legal rights in the event of a dispute, CPiO delivers its FHMS from a UK-based data centre. This means managers never have to worry about the location of their data or any long-term interferences with the management of their cloud software.

Cloud computing is a tried and tested model, used globally by organisations of all manner and size. Hosting business applications in the cloud could improve both reliability and security and greatly boost business efficiency. Businesses should not fear the adoption of new technology but embrace it.

Get in touch with CPiO today for a free consultation to understand how cloud can fit into your technology strategy.