I have just read a ZDnet article written by David Chernicoff, who warns us that the cloud can put you out of business if you don’t have a Plan B ready. No matter how I believe in the cloud, I have to agree with David. Read on.
The cloud has many upsides. Adopting it right can help a small business to compete with the bigger counterparts – all thanks to the accessibility (and affordability) of cloud technologies. However, cloud business solutions are without flaws, simply because the cloud is still its infancy – so expect glitch and hiccups to happen occasionally.
Unfortunately, “occasionally” means a great deal for businesses, especially in today’s fierce business competition. Businesses adopting cloud computing want to stay ahead in the competition; that’s probably the reason why businesses go cloud – they want to be more agile while reducing IT-related costs, thus enabling them to take on the competition better.
Businesses are always pitched with the perks of adopting the cloud. However, not many have the knowledge that the cloud can also present them with inherited problems.
Inherited? Yes – think about it: Adopting the cloud means bringing partial or all of your business operations to the cloud, to be managed by cloud vendors. So in essence, your business’ fate is partly in the hands of your cloud service providers; if they screw things up, your business will experience the direct impacts of the problems.
Please bear in mind – no matter how hard cloud business solution providers try, there will always be hiccups for the reason I mentioned above. What separates good cloud businesses with the bad ones is the ability to maintain service continuity when problems arise.
Potential cloud pitfalls and how to handle them
So, what hiccups are we talking about? Here are some examples of the cloud’s pitfalls that can bring major problems to your business (and yes, the pitfalls I mention below are for real):
- Lost emails in your email inbox stored in the cloud.
- Missing financial transaction information.
- Cloud accounting app stops working, disrupting business’ ability to create invoices, manage inventory, pay payables, etc.
- Cloud hosting poor uptime, making website access difficult
True cloud vendors always have backups and store your data redundantly – this is actually one of the benefits of taking your business to the cloud. The question is, do you have backups? Do you have the right person in your business to handle things when your cloud vendor fails to deliver? Do you have a Plan B when your Plan A fails?
Obviously, you need to have a backup ready. However, you also need to understand that creating backups is resource consuming; you might end up using more resources running in the cloud plus creating backups, making cloud adoption no longer effective.
Be aware, make a well-informed decision.