From Our Members

The risks and benefits of moving business infrastructure and enterprise applications to the cloud

If you’re considering moving to cloud computing (or increasing your cloud services and enterprises), ensure you have the right specialists on your side.  

Cloud computing has become the standard for most businesses. In fact, approximately 94 per cent of enterprises use cloud services in some capacity, and 67 per cent of enterprise infrastructure is cloud-based.  

In other words, if your business isn’t already using cloud computing in some capacity, you’re behind the curve. That said, there are some risks of cloud computing, and it’s essential for business owners to be aware of the risks and benefits of cloud-based services when making any business IT decision. 

Weighing the risks of cloud computing  

As with any business decision, cloud computing includes certain risks. Not to say that it’s too risky to explore, of course. Cloud security has increased by leaps and bounds in the last several years. But it’s important to explore the risks and be aware of the potential hazards of cloud infrastructure. 

One of the biggest concerns around cloud computing is security. When data is stored and transmitted in the cloud, accessibility offers advantages and disadvantages. Your data is now protected from the risks associated with your physical building. There’s no worry of an internal server crash or fire wiping out your data. Remote workers can access your data from anywhere. But if your data isn’t under your roof, it can also be harder to protect—especially if you don’t have the necessary expertise in-house. 

Companies must comply with data privacy laws and regulations, especially when storing and processing sensitive data. The data could include medical information, financial information, identifying data, and more. Laws and regulations vary based on industry, company location, and the location of the cloud. Still, it’s important to be aware of any impact these restrictions and controls could have on your data, access, and dissemination.  

Many companies have existing IT systems and applications that work well for them. However, when you move to cloud computing, you need to integrate those systems and apps. Integration is especially challenging for cloud computing if your systems are outdated or incompatible with the cloud. It’s also important to enlist the help and expertise you need to integrate your systems—can your team handle the process, or do you need to find more resources? 

In business, as in life, most things come down to the bottom line. Is cloud computing affordable for your company? While cloud computing offers long-term cost savings (especially compared to traditional IT infrastructure), integration and migration can quickly become expensive processes if not properly managed. Weigh the risks of cloud computing against your budget. Be sure you clearly understand the costs, including data storage, network bandwidth, and other related aspects of cloud computing.  

Protecting and managing cloud computing requires specialised expertise and skills. Does your team have the proficiency and capacity to handle the undertaking in-house? It’s also important to look at your capacity down the road. Cloud infrastructure and technology are growing at a rapid pace, and it’s crucial to have experts readily available to tackle each new challenge and optimize your cloud services. 

The benefits of cloud computing far outweigh the risks  

Now that we’ve explored the risks of cloud computing, it’s time for the good news—cloud computing offers many benefits to your business. These benefits far outweigh the risks and challenges of moving data and applications to the cloud…which is positive since cloud computing is rapidly becoming inevitable in today’s business world.   

Give yourself peace of mind by focusing on the numerous benefits of cloud computing. 

Cloud computing allows you to easily scale up or down your computing and technology resources based on your needs. As a result, when your business grows, there’s no demand for significant upfront investments in hardware and infrastructure. 

When you move into cloud computing, you not only get scalability you wouldn’t have from hardware, but you’ll avoid the costs associated with infrastructure purchasing and maintenance. Instead of estimating what you’ll need down the line, you can use computing resources on a pay-as-you-go basis.  

Just as accessibility and flexibility can be risks of cloud computing, they’re also huge benefits. You and your employees can access company data and applications from anywhere. All you need is your preferred device and an internet connection, and you’ll be able to work from any place you go.  

Teamwork comes together easily with cloud computing. Staff can collaborate on projects, access, and share information and data, and communicate from a central location. With today’s mobile workforce, it’s crucial that employees can retrieve data and work on the go.  

Anyone who’s ever dealt with an in-house server crash knows how debilitating (and costly) downtime can be. Cloud computing helps you decrease and avoid the risks of unplanned downtime by ensuring that your critical business applications and data are always available.  

Despite the security risks of cloud computing, there are also many security benefits. Cloud computing providers have robust security measures and are up on the latest innovative approaches to protecting data against cyber threats and breaches.  

If you’re considering moving to cloud computing (or increasing your cloud services and enterprises), ensure you have the right specialists on your side.  

Elevate your in-house IT with training, support, and expertise. IBA Group offers unparalleled global support, insight, and technology know-how to help you gain all the benefits and avoid the risks of cloud computing. Reach out today. 

This content has been produced in collaboration with a partner organisation through our Global Visibility Programme. Our programme helps companies boost their digital presence and strengthen the thought leadership of their experts. Find out more here.