Here at Virgin Media Business, we recently conducted a study into smaller businesses’ views of storage products. Astonishingly, we found that 14 per cent believe data transfer services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, will be used to transfer sensitive company information in the years to come. A huge 86 per cent highlighted cost as the main reason they’re overlooking the possibility of using secure Virtual Private Data Centres (VPDCs) in favour of these consumer services.
Moving to the cloud can be daunting, so I’ve put together a list of top tips for moving into the cloud quickly, easily and securely:
1. Get the basics right: Firstly businesses need to make sure they have the basics in place– for example, are you going to connect to the cloud over the public Internet or do you need a dedicated network connection? The beauty of the cloud is that applications can be accessed from remote locations with the same level of performance as though they were on servers next door. Without the right network though, everything can become excruciatingly slow. The right connection is a must!
2. Baby steps: Once they start using the cloud, some businesses feel the need to put absolutely everything into it. But before you do, you need to ask yourself whether the connectivity can support all this data? In addition, do you have the right Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place? Does this fit in with your business strategy? On answering these questions, you may find that only some applications serve the business best by being in the cloud.
3. Your way or the highway: Cloud computing offers businesses the IT flexibility they didn’t previously have. If you wish, you can have a mix of servers onsite and in the cloud, or you could put them all in the cloud. The one-size-fits-all approach is outdated and you can now tailor the cloud to fit around your business needs.
4. Get connected: Connectivity is fundamental when moving into the cloud, so getting to know and coming to an understanding with your provider is essential. If you’re not on the same page, you may as well be on different planets. It’s up to you to tell your provider what you want and it’s up to your provider to give you exactly that.
5. Security, security, security: Perhaps the most important of all – once you’ve got your applications in the cloud, how do you know they’re secure? In this day and age where tough data protection regulations are getting tougher and consumers are freely handing out personal data left, right and centre, it’s vital that security in the cloud is a top priority for businesses. Therefore, nothing beats VPDCs that are rigorously tested to ensure they offer the maximum level of security possible. Using consumer cloud transfer services for sensitive, corporate data may create cost-savings in the short-term, but could cause irretrievable reputational damage in the long-term. This just isn’t a risk worth taking!