In the last few years, the cloud has become all-pervasive – and for many that is a reason for concern.
But you can relax – the cloud is really safe. Despite news stories of major security breaches and hack attacks by high-profile groups, the loss of damaging data is still relatively rare.
Most security breaches happen is the same way as a house burglary might occur – and therefore taking basic precautions can all but remove the risk of loss. Poor security through bad password design, shared usernames or poor physical management cause far greater loss than hackers breaking into systems.
Additionally, cloud-based services frequently have advanced security features that most companies couldn’t normally afford (for example, two-factor authentication can be expensive to run but most cloud services provide this for free.)
And this brings us to the crunch. Cloud-based services give companies access to fantastic enterprise-level infrastructure – often for just a few pounds a month. Freeing up valuable capital gives cloud-based businesses a tangible and powerful business benefit.
And when your business scales (either up or down) service providers can scale with you or you can migrate away to another service provider. It is significant that selecting a well-matched cloud-provider can see you form a partnership that can last years, if not decades – We’ve been a customer of 37Signals for their Basecamp product since late 2007.
In summary, don’t be afraid of the cloud, do take precautions with passwords and take full advantage of all of the security measures they offer. And take care not to jump too late, move to the cloud early and completely, as retrospectively moving services to the cloud can be painful and problematic.
We started our business in 1996, almost a decade before the rise of the cloud, and we spent nearly 5 years moving all of our services to cloud. It’s fair to say we have more blood on our shirt than most twenty-year old businesses – and the biggest thing we learned is to relax and not to worry.
Thankfully, moving to the cloud is a great deal simpler today than it was 10 years ago.