The Pros and Cons of Moving to the Cloud
Most businesses have moved their IT infrastructure to the cloud, or have at least considered it. The cloud provides a variety of benefits that businesses hope to access, including increased opportunities for collaboration, the ability to scale services to changing needs, cost savings, energy efficiency, and automatic network and application updates.
But the cloud is not without some drawbacks, and businesses should take these concerns into account before going forward with a migration. Following is an explanation of several of the major pros and cons of migrating to the cloud, as well as details about security considerations.
- Collaboration. Increased collaboration is a primary advantage of migrating to the cloud, allowing employees to access the network and applications from anywhere. This facilitates remote work situations, and increased collaboration can translate into cost savings created by more efficient operations.
- Recovery from outages. Network disruptions are inevitable, and getting back online as quickly as possible is crucial. Cloud service providers have dedicated resources and personnel on hand to decrease downtime and speed up recovery during outages.
- Scalability and flexibility. Perhaps one of the most attractive advantages of the cloud is its ability to give businesses — especially smaller businesses — the ability to access applications they might not otherwise be able to. The cloud allows businesses to buy into services and applications at the level they need for the size and scale of their company, and then grow (or shrink) their services as needs dictate.
Cons of the Cloud
- Shared environment. The advantages that come with the cloud are a function of the fact that it is a shared environment — and that can create some drawbacks related to shared resources. The environment also tends to be more complex than traditional environments.
- Security concerns. Security is always an issue when data travels outside the safety of the local network and onto public infrastructure.
- Privacy concerns. Especially in situations where data is stored overseas, legal and privacy concerns can become an issue.
Heightened security is one of the many benefits cloud providers promote, but transitioning to the cloud often introduces a new set of security considerations. Companies should be careful not to let their vigilance about security lapse. Businesses should compile security policies during the transition process to ensure that proper measures within the office environment are maintained.
Consider the following security precautions that should accompany a cloud transition:
- Continue to maintain anti-virus and anti-malware tools on internal networks and ensure updates are installed.
- Educate employees about basic good computer hygiene so that they are aware of vulnerabilities and can be vigilant against them. In addition, employees should be made aware of other sources of vulnerability, such as releasing sensitive information to bad actors disguised as IT personnel.
- Monitor for unauthorized file transfers, suspicious logins, and other activity that could signal a breach.
- Enforce password rules and restrictions by requiring highly secure passwords and implementing two-factor authentication.
Transitioning to the cloud can afford companies a wide variety of benefits that can provide competitive advantages and increase business efficiency. But security concerns should be understood and planned for before making a move. Contact us to learn more about how to ensure a successful and secure transition to the cloud.