The Cloud is a tool that rapidly reached ubiquity—nearly every industry utilizes some form of cloud solution in their business. This could be for data storage or backup, it could be for remote file sharing and collaborative tools, or even as a hosting platform for some kind of communication service. It’s an important platform that vastly improves the day-to-day operations of most businesses—but it isn’t without its risks and problems. Cloud solutions are not the perfect answer to a business’ problems; they require support. In this article, we’re going to discuss a few things that you need to keep in mind when considering, or already working within, a cloud solution.

Bandwidth and Connectivity

One of the two most common shortfalls we’ve seen with cloud-based solutions is insufficient bandwidth. Here’s the scenario: you’re a graphic design company, and you want to transition to the cloud. You’re working with 200 megabyte files (or larger), and you’re on a 20 megabit fiber connection. That amount of bandwidth is simply not enough to facilitate multiple people utilizing large files. If you’re working collaboratively via the cloud, or if you’re simply moving files in and out of the cloud-based storage solution, you’re going to start experiencing data or packet loss—crippling both productivity and product quality. When considering a cloud-based solution, it’s crucial that you work with your IT resource to determine if you have enough bandwidth to meet your needs.

In addition to making sure the strength and speed of your connections are up to the task, it’s important to make sure you have redundant connections to your cloud solution. If your main data connection provider goes down, or you experience some other form of outage, you need to have a secondary connection in place to keep you from experiencing downtime yourself.

Data Storage and Recovery

Misconceptions around cloud data storage can lead to extremely damaging oversights. Let us be as clear as possible: having a cloud data solution does not mean your data is safe; you still need additional backups. Data stored on the cloud does not become safe from corruption, loss, or theft—that’s why it’s important to back up your data, tools, processes, and environment in another location. When you’re examining your cloud solution you need to examine your data recovery point and recovery time objectives; you have to build your cloud storage solution the same way you’d build an on-premise server backup. Several years ago a Microsoft Data Center in Texas caught fire and lost several servers—which significantly impacted the cloud solutions that utilized those servers. It’s important to work with your IT resource to make sure the data stored in your cloud solution is supported and backed up in other locations as well—there is no perfect data storage solution. You always need a backup.

We hope you’ve learned a little about the two most common pitfalls of the Cloud. We’ve seen these problems, misconceptions, and oversights in many businesses over our years of experience, and we’ve become adept at fixing these problems in the process. If you’re interested in implementing a cloud-based technology solution, or in improving your existing one, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.