64 Million reasons not to use the cloud

Storm CloudAlthough the article is just over a year old, Bloomberg has a great article that shows why many people are hesitant to move completely to the cloud.  Not every business is ready to move all their data to the cloud.

Everyone talks about the cloud because it’s different and sounds exciting.  Everyone wants the latest and greatest, but sometimes the latest isn’t always the greatest.  Hackers are a major concern if your confidential data is in the cloud because it’s available for anyone to hack away at it 24/7.  If it is stored locally on your server you have more control over it internally and doesn’t need to be exposed to the Internet at all.

The other issue of cloud based computing or having your data in the cloud is downtime.  If your computer crashes and data is local, you don’t have access to it.  If it’s in the cloud and your computer crashes, you can jump to another computer and it’s there.  However, if that server up in the cloud goes down where your data is stored, you need to call tech support.  Depending on who is hosting your data online, you should be aware of their support hours and availability.  If you are fairly tech savvy and your local server goes down you can handle it yourself, but if it’s in the cloud, the fate of your business lines with some faceless and probably nameless person.

Bloomberg’s Jordan Robertson writes “Richardson, Texas-based FireHost, a cloud hosting company, blocked more than 64 million attacks in 2012”.

You may find like may businesses that a combination of some cloud based and some local will be a good fit.  Having a hosted Exchange server for example is great to get the benefits of an Exchange server without paying to maintain one locally.  You can instead have a basic server for file and printer sharing only where it houses the majority of your critical and confidential data.  Any data that is required to be shared across various physical locations like branch offices, you can have that stored in the cloud while keeping anything that only needs to be accessed locally, on the local server.

So as risky as it can be to have your data in the cloud, you can still risk losing local data to viruses, hackers and crashes with no backups even though you thought backups were working but no one was monitoring.  I’m not saying don’t do the cloud at all, instead I’m saying, make sure you understand what you want and what is best for your needs, not what someone else says you should do just because it’s the latest and greatest. 🙂