If there is one modern truism that explains the mass movement to cloud based technology over the past few years it would be “As every business grows so grows their digital needs.”
When businesses grow, everything inside the business grows including inventory, accounting, sales, and often physical locations as well. Tracking that growth and sharing the key data in real time with the people who need it the most inside of the business is a challenge that the development of cloud based data storage is uniquely qualified to meet.
While some business owners prefer the concept of on site storage, the cost demands of maintaining servers as well as IT professional salaries which are not scalable can often be a burden on the bottom line of a business. Cloud based storage solutions remove that burden and distribute the server costs throughout its user base so that they can offer a solution that is superior at a fraction of the in house cost.
So how does the business owner sort through the cloud based storage options in order to select the right provider? Here are a few tips that everyone should know when selecting the right cloud service.
Security is Paramount
It’s important to work with a provider that offers encryption on every level from transmission to storage and back. So the most important question you can ask a potential cloud storage provider is whether or not the data is encrypted while on the drives.
If they pass this first test then the follow up questions would determine who has holds the encryption keys and what are key back ups that will allow them to access the data if the keys get lost.
Speaking of Backup
Ask the provider how they back up the data, how they restore data from back ups and find out exactly how often the back ups are done. Obviously, the more the better.
Control and Access
Today’s business data has a high value. It is extremely important that the company has access to an employee’s data once that employee leaves the company.
Additional control and access issues are controlling who has access to the data, insuring that there is an gateway that the company can control, as well as controlling who has access to data.
Compliance is a Fact of Life
Like it or not saving data for compliance regulations is a key element in securing the viability of any business. Saving, and cataloging all compliance items is crucial.
Location, Location and Co-location
Where is the data stored? Where are the back ups stored? What back up system is there in case of an act of God? How does this impact compliance data? Is there a data recovery system in place and what is it?
While these are the key questions to ask any Cloud storage company it’s important to for any CEO to work with an IT professional during the cloud storage company interview process. Even if the CEO is technically oriented having a second set of eyes on the project will help immensely.
Making the right choice is important for your company and your customers.
Idera is the creator of leading SQL server software solutions, including SQL server monitoring. Peter Hill is a freelance writer with an interest in software management.