Even though some may not realise it most businesses today use some form of cloud computing. Put simply, cloud computing refers to use of computing or date storage resource on a remote computer to perform calculations of store data.
Well before the term cloud computing became into popular use many of us were already using things we now recognise as cloud such as web-based email (think; gmail, yahoo, live) or data storage (think; onedrive, dropbox).
There are countless ways in which businesses can benefit from using the cloud. When it comes to data storage, using the cloud over physical on-site file storage can offer attractive cost-savings. There’s also the flexibility of being able to access data on any device, from anywhere in the world. Cloud applications typically update automatically, so there is less pressure to keep your own systems updated and maintained. Consequently, cloud services tend to be speedy and efficient, with reduced danger of outages and downtime.
Public vs Private Cloud
Public clouds share physical hardware (cables and servers in data centres) and are operated by a third-party provider, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform or IBM Cloud. You will share this hardware with other subscribers, or ‘tenants’.
Private clouds are hosted either on your business premises or at a service provider’s data centre. The infrastructure is dedicated solely to your business and it’s customisable.
There’s also a third route – ‘hybrid cloud’ – which is essentially a combination of these two approaches. A company using the hybrid model will have some storage and services with a public provider, and other elements of the business will operate via a private cloud.
Is the cloud secure?
It’s an inescapable fact that all digital data is open to cyber-attack at some level, whether that data is stored on the isolated memory of a private device, or remotely via the cloud.
Security is a hot topic for anyone involved in the IT industry and tech companies are working around the clock to prevent breaches occurring. There is one argument that using the public cloud makes a business less likely to be attacked, since there are so many layers of deterrent. Service patches and fixes are automatically applied behind the scenes, meaning that a customer should not even be aware that a breach was attempted.
On the other hand, storing a vast amount of sensitive data in the public cloud undoubtedly makes your business a target in the eyes of a potential attacker. If a threat arises on a shared infrastructure, all tenants are vulnerable.
What’s best for my business?
Which model you opt for depends on a number of factors, including your current levels of usage, regulatory issues that apply to your sector, and the sensitivity of your data.
If you’d like more advice about how your business can achieve the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of a move to the cloud we are happy to arrange an informal, no-obligation meeting to discuss your own specific needs. As a leading IT service provider based in central London, we are offer a range of IT consultancy and support services to our clients. Why not give us a call on 020 7648 4840 to see how we can help you?