Afraid of the cloud?
What a question. I want to look at this from two perspectives, the IT Administrator and the End User. This one’s not necessarily with SMEs in mind, I guess this article could relate to home, small business or enterprise cloud.
First off, every time I mention the cloud to a user of IT, most of the time I get the response, what exactly is it? Well, if you ask google you get this response: a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet and used to store, manage, and process data in place of local servers or personal computers. But I think it’s so much more than that, it’s essentially a new way of working, thinking and living. Perhaps that’s quite a big statement, a new way of living, but I truly do believe it, if you think about it, with the cloud we’re essentially 150% more connected than ever before.
What happens to my data in cyber space? Well, lets take the early cloud, say before ‘cloud’ was even a word, you had a hotmail or a yahoo email address? I guess that was early cloud, you could logon to it from an internet terminal in most countries, right? Where was your data then, it was on some remote server in a data center somewhere in the world. Did you every really think about that? I bet you didn’t!
Okay, so now my company are sending everything cloud, File System, Email, Anti-Virus, Web Filtering, you name it, what can I expect? Well, I would say a couple of things, a more dynamic and connected environment, better connectivity, uptime, from what I have developed and implemented in the past, you’re looking at a lot more productivity, IT working to better you as a posed to IT being there to cause hassle!
Security? Here’s the thing, when I first started looking at the cloud a couple of years ago, security was one of those taboo subjects, what do we do, can we be hacked? Two words, Compliance Management, this is key for the cloud, and I recommend a cloud security system that handles compliance across all cloud systems, with a solid set of compliance rules that are implemented the cloud is secure. They way I look at it, you don’t stay in the house, because you could trip up on the pavement? Get a cross company team in a room and build compliance rules and you’re then as secure as you need to be.
I wanted to drop a line in this article about the IT administrator, we have two types of IT administrator here. Type one, they love the cloud, it’s centralizing everything, making their life easier and bring far more benefit to the users that they support, give more up-time, flexibility and giving birth to the next level of working. Then we have type two, โgive up my servers to an external companyโ, we all know them, the IT administrator that loves their servers and the very thought of moving to a cloud based environment doesn’t sit well with them, managing things through online powershell and web based portals, not their thing.
Which one am I? Well, I’m old school as much a new school, the key thing for me as an IT consultant is making it easier and more flexible for my users to access things, perform in their job and grow the company as a result. But having said that, I do like a couple of on-premise servers hanging around, just for nostalgia!
So tell me, are you still afraid of the cloud? Let me know in the comments what cloud based systems you’re using or have implemented.