Cloud computing can boost your productivity, but make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
Chances are your email, latest accounting software or job ordering system is based in the ‘cloud’. It lets you do things previously only dreamed of by large companies with dedicated IT services. All the maintenance, development and backups are taken care of for you. You just need a computer and a connection to the internet. A great strength of cloud computing is the fact you can log in at any time from any place.
But what if your phone and data lines go down? Or if someone hacks into the data centre? Is it properly backed up? How sensitive is your information, and how many days will your business survive without access? Can you still run a local backup? Do you know where your data is being stored? Is it still in Australia? Do you trust the provider, and the standards they apply? Will you be able to demand the return of your data, with an assurance that no copies have been retained, and will you be able to use it? Or will it be locked in a format that ties you to only one provider?
These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself before embracing cloud computing. Weigh up the benefits and drawbacks for yourself and your business, get some good advice from others in your industry, your Accountant and your IT provider. Do your research and read the fine print.