Many Entrepreneurs Still Up in the Air About the Cloud Securing your data is just one tech problem small businesses can afford to solve in the cloud but largely unfounded security worries keep many companies from taking the leap.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Concerns about privacy and data security often deter small and medium businesses from cloud-based solutions but most organizations are better off putting their data in the cloud. Cloud service companies offer growing businesses advanced surveillance systems, cutting-edge encryption methods, third-party certs and regular testing against attacks that few small and medium size businesses can approach in-house.
"Realistically, those companies are going to get much better security, reliability and performance with much lower costs and hassle," says Dan Levin, COO of Box. "I've seen a number of small businesses lose data because it wasn't backed up or living on an old machine slid under the desk of some manager."
From lowering barriers-to-market to readily available enterprise-quality hardware at competitive rates, cloud computing has big advantages for small businesses. Cloud computing offers entrepreneurs sophisticated technology that's customizable without a large up-front investment. Soon, cloud offerings will meet most small business needs. The conversation is shifting from should small businesses adopt cloud solutions to how small businesses connect with the right provider.
If your company is uncomfortable porting sensitive data onto the public cloud, use a private cloud exclusive to your company for your vital processing tasks and the public cloud for less sensitive tasks. Personal physical servers are unnecessary in nearly all cases. Small business owners are prudent to be cautious but, at minimum, a diligent CIO should be exploring hybrid cloud solutions.
Information about the public cloud is the antidote to fear of the unknown. Top-tier cloud providers have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees a level of uptime (for IaaS this should be nearly 100%) and have a long list of clients for references. World-class infrastructure hosted by reputable companies at significantly reduced costs is available when your small business is ready to make the transition.
As a small business owner, you need to do what's best for the growth of your company. The cloud is an inevitable solution to problems such as high start-up costs and scalability because our passion in the industry is providing high quality service that transforms your business. The cloud works and that isn't hype.