Digitalization and the ever-evolving migration of enterprise data and applications to the cloud are driving the growth of an economy that is becoming increasingly efficient, global and flexible. Globally distributed teams, flexible working hours, central data collection and evaluation: these are just a few of the benefits that the cloud brings. But the cloud also has a dark side.
A company that wants to compete in the long term must be able to respond to global trends and retain the best and brightest people. The cloud is essential. In it, experts, politics and trade journals agree. At the same time, the new data centralization also increases susceptibility to cybercrime. Therefore, especially startups should be careful to use a secure cloud environment to protect their data. Because a loss of data can mean the end for young companies.
The cloud is simple – for working in a team, but also for data thieves
Imagine these scenarios: An angry employee erases the data of hundreds or even thousands of cloud provider customers and takes their servers offline. Another sells data from customer databases. An online password manager loses the passwords of senior corporate representatives. Security cameras are open to the public on the internet and propose a wide-open gateway into the corporate network. Under the guise of combating terror, even governments engage in economic espionage. Hackers influence elections and media. These are all the consequences of centralized data in the cloud storage. Can this networked world still be under control? And above all, what to do as a small company that somehow has to keep up?
One thing is clear: The centralization of the cloud, ie the concentration of computing and storage capacities on a few providers, such as Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure), holds enormous dangers. The cloud services that have gone online in the last few years rarely run on the provider’s servers. Most of the applications are operated on servers of large providers and thus the data is passed on there.
Startups quickly fall back on simple solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive. In addition to the simple operation, the free offers are also attractive. But no one knows in which data center the data will actually be stored and how well it will be looked after. And above all: who has access to it. Because with the centralization increases the number of access points.
That the release is regulated to the respective folder and you can grant the employees various access is by far not sufficient protection. After all, who knows which employee is in the data center and what security measures are being taken there against hackers? As we walk into the cloud, we increasingly lose control of the whereabouts and security of our data.
Private Cloud: Take advantage of the cloud, minimize the risk
Load peaks can be compensated quickly, the storage space can grow with the amount of data. These are the arguments often cited for the centralization of the cloud. But startups should ask themselves if they need this fast scalability at all. Because according to a study, more than one-third of companies do not need the flexibility and scalability of the cloud at all. And whether there is no way to benefit from the flexibility of large data centers, without giving up its privacy.
One possibility is to let centralization be followed by decentralization. This does not mean the return to complicated, locally configured by administrators in error-prone manual work by console server configured. Instead, solutions are created that combine the benefits of local infrastructure with the capabilities of large data centers. Because even if the core technology of a company must scale up, there are always internal systems that do not need these factors, but all the more benefit from the superior privacy. On-site hardware can be centrally managed through unified software and new approaches, achieving the same level of simplicity, flexibility, and internet security as the public cloud.
With such solutions, all applications required in the enterprise can be operated locally: document synchronization, collaboration, warehousing, time recording and much more. The sensitive company data remains in the company, no third parties get access.
What startups should consider when choosing private clouds
Startups that scale are often faced with major challenges in terms of infrastructure. Because not only the orders and the sales grow, but also the number of employees, the complexity of the processes and the amount of data grow. That’s why startups should consciously choose a solution for private cloud solutions that can support scaling and be flexibly expandable. Because not only vertically but also horizontally has to scale your own cloud: Which programs and processes are used regularly in the company? Are there private cloud solutions that already cover a large part of it or are easily expandable?
Document management, customer care, task management, time tracking, warehousing, project management, shared calendars and emails and much more. The list of things that small businesses need is long. For all these needs, there are cloud services. These cost monthly, often per user. This increases the costs exponentially. But what’s even more dangerous for growth is that many cloud services are isolated silos. If you come up against their limits or if you have to add more applications, they usually do not work together and make a costly complete relocation necessary. It is not uncommon to spend days typing data from System A to System B day after day. And then the employees have everywhere else login names and passwords.
For all company needs, there is also open-source software. This is available free of charge, by the open-source approach easily expandable and usually much safer. As the company grows, you can sign support contracts with the vendor and deploy enterprise features.
Some important questions when choosing the solutions: Do these interfaces provide an intelligent connection? Is it possible to have a central user administration in which the services are integrated? Can the project management communicate with the ERP system and the online shop to coordinate a product launch? If these connections are missing, manual reconciliation of the data is required. This pays off in the rarest cases and usually takes over quickly. If systems work together, then productivity increases in the company.
Regardless of which solution a founder chooses, one should always ask oneself: where exactly is the data? And there is a good feeling, if you know for sure: Two meters further in your own office and not in the “cloud”, which is ultimately only the computer of a stranger.
You need help managing your cloud solution or you want to get started in the cloud? Then the Contact Bleuwire™ they are always at your disposal with help and advice any time.