How to Best Manage Your Data in the Cloud
When it comes to cloud computing, effective management of data is both an opportunity and concern for businesses. Understanding the business demands for data hosted in cloud-based application services will help business leaders ensure access to critical company data. Here are four steps to consider:
Remain an expert. Cloud providers know the ins and outs of where the data resides, how best to access it, what the access speeds are, etc. "All of that impacts your understanding of your data. It is very important to maintain a significant expertise in data. Otherwise, you'll end up paying an off-site cloud service provider for the additional service of accessing your own data," says Larry Collins, Vice President of E-Solutions and Risk Engineering at Zurich Services Corporation.
Do a test drive. Ask your service provider for a demo or a trial period. Test how fast it is to back up your data, but more importantly how fast you can bring it back when you need it. This is especially important if you're talking about gigabytes of data. Understand that doing backups in the cloud can be hampered by your bandwidth and many other components of your system and theirs.
Consider storing data in different ways. Some service providers give users the option of storing data in multiple sites, to ensure that your data is safe if one site goes down. But why rely on just one service provider when you can get the services of multiple providers instead? Or perhaps better yet, why not manage some of your data on your own?
Create a plan. Unforeseen occurrences can and will happen--not only from your side but from your service provider's as well. Having a specific strategic plan for IT is fundamental to your success in the cloud.
It's sometimes easy to overlook the basic due diligence that's necessary regardless of how or where your data is stored. Ultimately, it is your business on the line-- be proactive.