Just a few years ago, most businesses were wary of moving their data and services to the cloud. Today, organizations have become educated and understand that many of those initial fears are now unfounded and companies are finally taking full advantage and reaping all of the benefits of the cloud.
Some companies still have concerns, however, especially in light of breaches publicized by the media. Are those concerns founded? If so, what can you do to ensure that your data is safe in a service provider’s cloud?
Let’s look at some of the most common concerns Evolve IP technology advisors encounter when speaking with customers and prospects.
1. Data Loss
The ramp up time that an organization experiences after it has encountered a data loss costs the organization time and money. In a nutshell: whenever your business is down, you’re losing money. Depending on what type of disaster recovery plan you have in place, your IT could be down for a few minutes or even a few days. In our experience, there are very few businesses that can afford to be down for several days.
It’s important for organizations to understand that the cloud can’t be used as a crutch for data backup. It’s just as crucial to back up your data being stored in the cloud as it is to back up local, premise-based servers. Customers still need to be able to recover from even simple incidents such as end-user accidental data loss.
Evolve IP and Data Loss
Evolve IP offers a variety of backup and replication options. We understand the importance of providing various disaster recovery (DR) options, as well as the importance of educating customers on those options. What are the options for Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO)? What do the various options mean for the customer? How long would they be down? How would that downtime affect their business?
A client can only have trust in a vendor and its products if he or she understands how they work, what the options are, and what they mean to his or her organization.
Security is an understandable concern for any organization. What is most important to consider in regards to security is who has access to your data when it’s in the cloud. As companies move their data to the cloud and that data gets shifted from one data center to another, they become reliant on their cloud service provider’s background checks and internal practices. This is why it is crucial to select a reputable and experienced service provider.
Security and Evolve IP
Security is our top concern and the cornerstone of our cloud computing product family. We are SOC 2/3 certified, PCI-ASV certified and are a registered and participating member of CSA Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR). Evolve IP is committed to maintaining compliance and continuing to exceed industry regulations. Additionally, Evolve IP is monitoring the data centers simultaneously, for added security. Evolve IP is a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), experienced in protecting, reporting and auditing enterprise customer environments.
3. Loss of Control
Oftentimes, when an organization’s data gets moved to the cloud, they don’t actually know where it resides. Whereas, in the traditional premise-based environment, servers and data are in the room across the hall, and access is easily monitored and controlled. Customers feel an intrinsic sense of control with premise-based equipment because “I know all my stuff is on a server in the closet.” So, once you start moving data and infrastructure to the cloud, customers feel that they are losing access and control. But, in reality, having the data onsite is providing a false sense of security. When your data is in a world-class data center, such as Evolve IP’s geographically redundant, active-active availability zones, it is far more secure, and you still have full control via a self-service administrative portal.
Of course, it’s important that your organization trusts the service provider it selects. After all, they have all of your organization’s client and company information. Not every cloud service provider is the same. Customers must be able to consider their service provider to be a trusted advisor. That’s why it’s important to do your research, and ensure that the service provider has a good reputation in the industry and a solid technology platform.
4. Vendor Longevity
In the last several years, there’s been a race to get to the cloud, with myriad startup companies coming out of the woodwork, facilitating the migration to the cloud. But, it’s important to gauge how long those companies will stay in business. If you are at a Fortune 100 company that’s been doing business for 50 years are you going to feel comfortable suddenly hosting all your data with a company that’s been in business for two years? Two years is not nearly enough time to become proven in the hosting & infrastructure marketplace. It’s important to vet potential cloud service providers for signs that they are financially stable and growing in order to feel comfortable that they will remain in business for as long as your organization is in business.
It’s important to do your due diligence when moving to the cloud. Evolve IP is continually scaling up and out across SANs, servers, networks, and data centers. Our business requires multiple levels of redundancy in all areas, including hardware and software systems.
From a reliability perspective, the real issue is often on the customer side of connectivity and infrastructure versus the reliability of the service provider’s cloud. The question actually becomes, “How is your internet connectivity?”
If you move all your data to the cloud, and experience a problem at your office where the internet is continually fluctuating up and down, you will have an issue accessing your data. Many reputable cloud providers can have a 99.999% uptime SLA, however, this means nothing if you can’t access your data with your internet connection. It’s important to have a reliable network solution, such as Evolve IP’s Cloud Connect to ensure quality of service (QoS).
If you are considering moving to the cloud, click here to download our 14 Questions to Ask Your Potential Cloud Services Provider list.Categories: General