Can your firm make the move to ‘Cloud’ computing?

If your company is like most others, a plan to move your company’s data to the Internet ‘Cloud’ might make good business sense right now.

After all, in this economy, what isn’t there to love about pay-as-you-go processing power and data storage on the Web that doesn’t require your company to shell out big bucks for new in-house equipment?

But it’s not all smooth sailing up in the cloud. Make sure you’re aware of all the risks when your IT manager comes to you with a plan to make the transition to cloud computing.

As more companies opt for cloud computing, issues with reliability and security are cropping up. Several major outages at big name cloud service providers like Amazon, Google and Apple Web Services have left users without access to their data for hours at a time. Some have even lost sensitive data. Even short outages can cost companies millions of dollars.

So the question becomes, will providers take responsibility and foot the bill when their systems go down and cause customers to lose money?

It doesn’t look that way. The problem is most cloud providers don’t offer service-level agreements (SLA) guaranteeing 99.99% up time or compensation for downtime.  And if they do, your company’s likely to pay much more for it.

Before you let your IT department put company data online, discuss the risks involved. Experts say a vendor’s track record may be the best indicator of whether they’re reliable enough to handle your companies needs.

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