Connecting to the Cloud, Wherever It May Be

Posted on September 21, 2017

Cloudy

Working in the cloud has many benefits that far outweigh the more traditional ways of doing business and many organisations are already on cloud migration journeys. It is critical to ensure that when adopting cloud-based services or apps, your organisation is following best practice and that all staff understand how the cloud operates.

Benefits of connecting to the cloud

With more and more businesses making the leap, operating ‘in the cloud’ has become a standardised term.  What it essentially means is the use of a third-party partner for your organisation’s computing and storage requirements.  

The benefits of cloud-based technology are well and truly known—it offers more space, is energy-efficient and there’s no need to have vast banks of computers tucked away in a back room to store all of your data.  While working in the cloud makes storage and operation needs scalable and flexible, IT costs are also reduced.  It makes system upgrades and expensive, new hardware a thing of the past.   

Cloud technology is faster and significantly for most businesses, having a dedicated private cloud connection is more reliable, and more secure.  Having your own private bandwidth means you can reach speeds up to 10Gbps with less downtime and outages to interrupt work flow. 

Access to applications and data can be delivered quickly and seamlessly, allowing staff to work more flexibly, globally and collaboratively.

Best practice

So, to go along with all the benefits of connecting to the cloud, what are some of the best practice options you should consider for your business?

Having your backup plan as a cloud-based service is quintessential to the smooth running of your business, particularly when backing up from single or multiple physical locations.  Protecting your data is a vital element of business continuity planning and resilience.  It ensures if a disaster hits your business—whether that be in the form of a website hack, virus, human error, power outage or natural disaster—that the data can be restored quickly and simply from a secure, offsite location.   

Being able to access your data quickly after such an event, allows minimal downtime and loss of productivity to your business.  

Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery also has the advantage of being more cost-effective than the traditional tape backup, as well as easier and more secure.

A secure, working backup and disaster recovery process should be a large part of your organisation’s Business Continuity Plan.  As an essential part of the strategy, data restoration and backup should be tested on a regular basis.

 By carefully choosing your cloud technology partner, you have the ability to future-proof your business to some extent.  Partner with a company who has an eye on the future and who works to continue to improve their security, increase performance and lower cost.  As the efficiency of their infrastructure increases, savings should be passed on to your business.

How best practice can overcome risk

While there are many benefits of cloud computing, these benefits can be short-lived without a plan that places it within the context of its overall business strategy.

Moving to the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, with businesses requiring customised solutions to suit their needs—which can also change quickly.  Flexible connectivity allows companies to test the waters with new solutions without being tied to long term contracts or substantial infrastructure investment.  Sometimes companies require one-off project upgrades which require short-term, large scale storage and rapid data movement.  

Ideally, the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offered by your provider should include this scalability and flexibility.  

Paying only for what you use, when you use it on a monthly basis is a very cost effective solution.  Your provider should offer the ability to add licenses for operating systems, storage and other key software as your business grows—particularly for enterprise organisations.

Understandably, the biggest concern most businesses have about switching services over to the cloud, is the protection and security of their data.  However, dedicated access to cloud providers, minimises the risk of interception and offers the fastest access.  Dedicated access provides low latency, meaning the network operates quickly and efficiently.

In addition to this, platforms and cloud service providers are continuously monitored to catch any potential threats and minimise potential downtime which could negatively impact your business.  

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