Cloud Computing: A Threat to Business Continuity?

business continuity

Cloud computing plays an important role in business continuity. In natural disaster events, for example, businesses adopting the cloud have their important data and applications secured off-premise in the cloud, avoiding further loss of business assets.

However, the recent developments in tech world indicate that, once again, cloud computing poses threats to businesses, especially when it comes to business continuity; indeed, it seems contradicting that while the cloud helps businesses in disaster recovery and such, it can also backfire and disrupt business operations.

Cloud service outages, cloud security compromises, and potential legal issues… those are several of many issues that can lead to your business operational disruption.

Consider this: SOPA and the Megaupload shutdown

Cloud outages and security breaches can happen; but as long as you read your contracts well, you can minimize damages as you can take legal action toward them.

However, what happened to Megaupload and its users is an eye opener. What if the FBI or a new regulation (i.e. if SOPA did become a law) requires your cloud vendor to shut down its services and in the meantime, your data and apps were frozen and locked until further notifications?

Fatality.

Plus the fact that the cloud marketplace is nowhere near stable, as new cloud vendors are battling for new clients; we do know that – just like any business startups – not all of them will survive. Not until the majority of cloud vendors are developed on a standardized platform, your business is exposed to the risk of cloud lock-in that, again, will disrupt your business operations.

Takeaway

Sure, I’m a big fan of cloud computing. The cloud offers many upsides for businesses; however, just like everything in life, there are always risks associates with any opportunities.

I suggest you NOT to decide going cloud based on cloud vendors’ pitches. Indeed, you need to know what’s on offer and whether the cloud solutions can benefit your business or not, but be sure you do your due diligence before investing in cloud solutions for your business.

Don’t forget to read your agreement with your cloud vendor thoroughly. If you are still not sure whether what you read will protect your business should anything happen, be sure to hire a legal representative that is experienced in handling cloud computing cases.

Just like what many experts suggest, consider opting for hybrid cloud adoption. Having your important data and applications hosted and run on both on-premise and off-premise clouds can minimize cloud computing risks.

Image: dan

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  • Yep, a cloud provider is like a data center. If you really care about availability, you need more than one.

    Peter

    • Ivan

      Peter,

      Indeed – but how about the inter-twining data centers cloud providers are using? Some cloud providers use the same data centers in particular regions; just wondering, should we sign up with cloud providers which data centers are entirely different from one to another?