3 Unexpected Risks of Migrating Your Small Business to Cloud Computing

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Cloud migration has recently become a popular choice for small business owners as a way to reduce costs typically associated with IT maintenance and staffing. Simply put, cloud computing streamlines business operations by putting a business’ data and functions on the internet, as oppose to a physical server.  Many small businesses are benefiting from changing over to cloud computing, as it eliminates the need for IT staffing  and other IT-related expenses. While this may seem like a cost-effective move for small business owners, many are often unaware of the risks inherent in switching over to a cloud computing model. Before you decide to migrate your business’ operations to a cloud-based model, take into consideration these helpful tips.

Consider what your back up will be in the event your cloud service unexpectedly goes down. One of the benefits of cloud migration is that there is no need for a physical on-site IT staff. If your cloud service fails, you can possibly be without important information for an unknown amount of time. It is necessary for small business owners to have a back up plan, or to look for a cloud computing service that offers support in the event of a system failure. Businesses can also benefit from spending a little extra money by hiring one full time IT person who can immediately respond to technical issues.

Besides your business, who else will be able to view your data? When businesses traditionally relied on physical servers for the data needs, the information stored on them could only be accessed by individuals within the company. With the advent of cloud-based computing, businesses aren’t the only ones who can access their information. Online cloud computing leaves small businesses vulnerable to hackers, as well as anyone who has access to their cloud. Business owners should know who has access to their data when they decide on cloud computing service.

Will your current technical infrastructure support the applications you intend to use on the cloud? Once you have your cloud service up and running, it is important to test whether or not your daily functions will be supported on your physical infrastructure. For instance, do you use teleconferencing tools often? Make certain that these bandwith-eating applications won’t incite a mass system failure. Business owners should know which applications they use, and if a cloud structure can support them along with their physical equipment.

Cloud computing can benefit small businesses in many ways, from reducing costs associated with staffing, to the physical infrastructure related to on-site IT activities. However, not all models of cloud migration fits all for some small businesses, as there are many risks inherent in choosing to move business operations from a physical one to a virtual one.

Photo credit to straits IT on Flickr

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