Is the Cloud really the way to go?

Has your company been thinking about moving some or all of your business processes into the Internet cloud? Many software vendors are now offering cloud services to replace or augment their previous software. These new services often come with the promise of decreased cost, improved uptime, service and increased ROI.

Although some or all of these promises may come to light (you will judge at the end of the year based on your bottom line) what is not discussed is the downfalls of moving your data into the cloud.

Consider the following while making your decision

Data ownership / intellectual property: Have you or more importantly your corporate lawyer read through all of the legal documentation that has been sent to you from the cloud services firm? If not you may be surprised to find out who actually owns your data once it has been uploaded into the cloud. Many cloud services providers have the legal right to use, change, manage, modify or cut off access to your data as they see fit.

Data storage / legal recourse: Have you considered where your data is actually stored? It may seem like a simple question but it is a question that needs to be asked. Once your data has gone across borders your legal rights to that data are often compromised. Are you concerned with the US patriot act? If you are maybe storing your data in the USA isn’t the best idea.

Pricing guarantees / increases: Once you have moved all or some of your data into the cloud taking it back can be challenging. Before making the decision to move to the cloud consider your potential to leave the partnership. Is it possible? What will it take? Will you experience downtime? Also what is stopping the cloud services provider from increasing their pricing now that they have your data and know that it is difficult to move?

Attack targeting: If you are moving your data into the cloud look at the increased potential for targeted attacks. Your data is now on a shared system with any number of other companies. If one of those firms has enemies who wish to attack their network resources this may impact your ability to get your data. You share the resources so you also share the vulnerability to attack. Other areas of concern include quality of customer service, service level gurantees and censorship.

Summary

If you are considering the cloud consider seeking legal advice on the contracts. This is the only way to ensure that your business is protected.

Call The Dunham Group today to discuss this article or any of our professional IT services.

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