Cloud storage is useful to personal users, but the service is primarily geared towards small- and medium-sized companies. Beneficial as such a service is to business owners, you must ask the following questions before using the cloud.
What kind of data I would store in the cloud?
For business owners, the greatest attraction of a cloud storage service is the money it helps save. Yes, cloud storage reduces your operational costs, but it is not the only thing you should be concerned with.
The first thing to consider is the kind of data you would be storing. Some businesses like financial and medical companies may get into legal troubles if they store their customers’ data in the cloud. So check the government rules and regulations that apply to your business before opting for this service.
How will data be transferred to the cloud?
The best cloud storage providers transfer their clients’ data in encrypted form. This is the safest way to transfer data over the Internet, and you should only hire a provider if it provides this facility.
How good is the provider’s track record?
A company’s past performance gives you a fair idea about how good or bad your experience with it will be. When checking and evaluating a provider’s track record, study its performance on the following parameters:
Downtime – Some downtime is acceptable, but your operations can get badly affected if your provider’s services go down once every few days. Give preference to a provider with a better downtime history.
Customer Support – How does a provider offer customer support? How quick it is to respond to its customers’ queries? These are a few questions which you must try to get answers to in order to ensure you do not regret your decision a few months down the line. Information regarding this can be found on the provider’s website as well as by asking the online community for feedback about the provider.
Flexibility – Does the provider’s cloud support all applications used by you? How scalable is the cloud solution? Get answers to these important questions before signing a contract.
Pricing structure – Some providers offer only fixed plans, while some others offer customized pricing plans. Which type of pricing plan best suits you? Decide this first and then select a provider that offers you what you need.
Which part of the cloud the provider outsources?
The security risk is greater when important aspects of the cloud are outsourced. Browse the selected provider’s security and outsourcing policy to check which parts of the cloud it outsources.
Say yes to a provider only after you are satisfied with its security policy, range of services provided, and pricing structure. The responsibility of keeping data in the cloud safe lies primarily with the provider, just like keeping data safe in your network is solely your responsibility. To prevent malware from entering your network, install a robust firewall and an advanced antivirus tool on every office computer.