Some SMBs tend to brush over the cloud environments and everything it has to offer with the idea that it is meant for large enterprises. However, those that opt to leverage the cloud to achieve their business needs tend to come out as winners. For instance, 95% of small businesses have managed to improve their security posture through increased cloud adoption.

Making the most use of the cloud is all about knowing your way around it. Ideally, you need to pick the right vendors, cater to your security, and consider your scalability needs.

Here is how to use cloud computing to poise your business for success:

Why Cloud Computing Is Better Than Conventional Solutions

In comparison to the use of on-site data centers, cloud environments tend to be more cost-effective. Your business will need less power to run their data and cool the servers. On the other hand, the role of maintaining the servers lies in the cloud company, which gives your business some form of financial relief from these tasks.

Even better, it is easier to launch new applications on cloud environments than it would be using your on-site storage centers. While it would take hours to approve and customize applications on your server, you will only need a few minutes to open up new apps on the cloud. Additionally, it is more accessible to downscale and upscale your subscription concerning your business’ needs, vis-à-vis the rigid on-site servers.

Security is also quite streamlined in cloud environments. Since the onus of security lies on the cloud vendor, you can focus on other sensitive business issues. Lastly, compliance with laws such as the GDPR and HIPAA is easier on the cloud as most cloud vendors use compliance to gain a competitive advantage.

Choosing the Right Type of Cloud

You can choose between three types of cloud systems; the public cloud, the private cloud, and the hybrid cloud. In the public cloud, you get to enjoy cloud services in an environment shared with other businesses. It is cheap to run your business on it and quite easy to scale.

The role of security and workload maintenance lies mostly on the cloud vendor. However, it is not the most effective option for business-critical data or compliance-sensitive IT workload as it limits the amount of control you have. On the other hand, the private cloud ensures that you have a cloud solution dedicated to your organization’s use only.

It is customizable to your specific security and business needs. It also makes it easy to meet compliance requirements. While you can have your cloud servers in-house, you can have a third-party vendor housing them. The downsides are that it might be expensive to run and the scalability it offers you depends on your computing resources, though these can be upgraded.

Hybrid cloud is an integration of the best of both worlds. You can use the private cloud to store sensitive data and the public one to store normal IT workload. While the private cloud might be your primary solution, the public cloud can also help scale your business whenever the demand for resources increases. The trick comes on how you integrate the environments.

Your Choice of Vendors Matters

The success of your cloud adoption decisions will depend on the vendors you opt to work with. A great vendor should have a responsive customer service team to cater to your concerns. This is necessary if your business is to rely heavily on the cloud.

On the other hand, the vendor should uphold high-security standards and comply with different security and industry regulations. It might pay to research on whether a vendor has ever had any security issues in the past and how they resolved their issues.

Concentrate on Your Business’ Security

While a vendor might seem to have an excellent cyber-security posture, it is never enough to rely solely on them security wise. In some cases, it might pay to monitor their security and set up your security policies. For instance, the fact that they are encrypting their data doesn’t mean that your data will always be safe.

In such a case, practicing double encryption through encrypting your data before moving it into the cloud will help limit the effect that a data breach, aimed at the vendor, will have towards your business. You should also train your staff members on the security best practices on the cloud since they too might make a mistake that exposes your business.

The Value of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Regardless of how great your cloud vendor of choice is, there will always be the looming threat of a security breach. Even large cloud vendors such as AWS have experienced some form of a data breach in their lifetime. While some data breaches can cripple your business, others will barely glaze it.

Either way, you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place to protect your business from the effects of a breach. The plan should include the steps your workforce should follow at the aftermath of a breach and how to handle any PR nightmares. You should also concentrate on training your workforce on how to implement the plan. Lastly, ensure that you have a copy of your data on other storage locations to help your business remain afloat.

The cloud presents businesses with many benefits, but it is only reserved for those firms that manage to use it wisely. You can enjoy better scalability, improved security, and increased flexibility on data access, among other perks. Work on improving your cloud adoption rate to streamline your business processes.


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Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity's success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT