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A Checklist of Do's & Don'ts of Cloud Application for SMBs

A Checklist of Do's & Don'ts of Cloud Application for SMBs
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by Sanjeev Kapoor 31 Dec 2014

Cloud based solutions were once the reserve of large IT companies. Fast forward to today, even smaller companies have begun to use customized cloud based solutions. These solutions have helped SMBs to focus on their core business activities, instead of getting distracted with infrastructure related issues. Small to medium-sized businesses however, are still lost, when it comes to choosing and implementing a cloud strategy.

As they have recently begun to move towards complete cloud-based solutions, it is important to have a checklist that defines what needs to be and what needs to be avoided. In this article, let us take a look at a checklist that will help SMBs to make their processes smooth and focus on what is really important.

1.      Make sure to check the security standard followed

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There are many things that an SMB may not quite understand about cloud technology. A security standard adopted by vendors is one of them. It is important to check which security standard is followed. Once upon a time, the DES (Data Encryption Standard) was in vogue. Today, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is what is commonly accepted.

Both come with their own classifications and sub-types. The Data Encryption Standard was very popular until the Advanced Encryption Standard came along. Moreover, DES has already been withdrawn by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. SMBs that are worried about the quality of encryption must always choose a cloud platform that supports AES.

2.      Verifying remote access

Cloud computing enables people with access to login and use your platform from wherever they please to. This is certainly advantageous as employees will no longer need to be at office in order to access cloud platforms. Flexibility of work however brings with it its own problems.

Those who do not have access may somehow gain access if remote access is not strong enough. Thus, it is crucial to ensure that verifying remote access is done securely and safely. Verification can be done over the cloud and thus, even this crucial step can be automated.

3.      Checking data and its exporting fee involved

Cloud computing involves large amounts of data. You need to be sure where it is stored and how it will be protected. Moreover, if you need backups or if you need to export your files or content to some other server, you must enquire about the exporting fee. Most cloud vendors have their own policies regarding exporting and checking data. Make sure that you find out if their policies suit you needs or not.

4.      Determining the size of cloud system you require – small is not always bad!

Many small businesses often take up large cloud systems. The argument often put forth by marketing teams of vendors is that one must be prepared for the future. While that is true, sometimes it is not necessary to purchase a large chunk of cloud system. A smaller plan could be more beneficial in the initial stages. As a client, you must make sure that you can add on or upgrade your cloud system as and when it is required.

5.      Study the user control policy

This is one of the most important but often neglected points. Clients must always make sure that they know what the use control policy of the vendor is. Who is going to view your data and will you have the ability to exit the service as and when you may choose to?

If you decide to switch provides, will there be any problems in the future? You will need to read through the fine print and understand their disclosure policies as well, so that you do not feel trapped amidst cloud vendors who may or may not have your best interests.

The bottom line

While cloud computing will certainly change the way we work, small and medium businesses must tread carefully. In a quest to jump into the bandwagon of cloud solutions, one must not choose the wrong vendor. Also, one must not miss out on the right vendor as good cloud solutions can significantly increase your ROI.

By making sure that you go through each of the points mentioned in the checklist above, you will be able to choose a cloud solutions vendor who has your best interests. Moreover, it will help you to have superior knowledge about introducing cloud computing in your organization.

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