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Should International Businesses Be Cautious of the Cloud’s Security?

By Guest Writer on October 17, 2014


In today’s technological age it’s rare to meet someone that doesn’t have an opinion on the cloud and its various applications in both the consumer and business worlds.

While there are risks associated with making the switch to the cloud, a study from Statista found that the number of businesses using Software-as-a-Service (Saas) increased by 69% in both 2012 and 2013, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) increased by 44% in 2012 and 47% in 2013. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) increased from 29% in 2012 to 37% in 2013.

As these numbers rise, it shows that businesses are embracing the power of the cloud and finding ways to mitigate potential risks. Data security is an essential piece of the cloud puzzle and can’t be forgotten when choosing a cloud solution. With proper security measures in place, the benefits of the cloud outweigh the negatives.

In today’s business world, collaboration across teams can be essential, particularly as the number of remote workers continues to rise. Cloud computing allows businesses of all sizes to reduce costs and increase flexibility as well as automate processes. It also offers the opportunity to accelerate the development process for international teams as they can employ technologies at a reduced operating cost with greater ease than in the past. While affordable, worldwide Internet access is not available today, there are significant portions of the international world that are equipped for cloud computing and related IT and development projects.

How can businesses across the globe leverage the cloud?

1. Organization and increased participation. The benefit for global teams is to have projects stored in one location. Regardless of location employees can access and contribute to ever-evolving documents without swapping physical external hard drives or starting a complicated, large-scale email chain. The team is more organized, and more productive as the applicable employees can access and edit a project at any time. Also, by limiting some permissions, all employees can be given read-only access to these files so they may view them and give feedback without waiting for an email notification. This means that business innovation is available on a global scale.

2. Easily access and transfer large files. International businesses may find it difficult to transfer particularly large files, as many email servers limit attachment sizes. Companies that utilize large video and audio elements have likely encountered difficulties in sending these tips of files to workers in other offices. In the past, the solution may have been to ship discs or hard drives to different international locations. This could be a time-consuming process that caused delays in project completion. With cloud technology companies can eliminate these delays and separate offices can begin working on files the moment they are uploaded as long as they have an Internet connection. Businesses can also use the cloud to send large files to clients.

3. Perform backups. In the event of a network failure or disaster situation, business owners and international teams can have peace of mind knowing that their data has been backed up in the cloud and is easily accessible. A network failure in Germany won’t affect files and business operations in India, for example. Data can be automatically updated as users work and off-site cloud copies of data add another layer of data security.

4. Syncing and remote work. Businesses no longer need physical addresses. One of the benefits of cloud technology is that it allows business owners and employees to collaborate and be productive regardless of location. Business teams can sync data and take “the office” with them wherever they go. International teams can work together on projects without being in the same room – or even in the same country. More importantly, updates and edits made to cloud-based projects happen in real-time, which means that every team member is aware of the latest developments and there won’t be confusion regarding the latest version. These same processes can also be used to foster company culture and employee comraderie within remote teams, as employees can share photos, videos, and other non-work related documents with each other. The cloud can serve as a virtual “water cooler” as well as a powerful business tool.

5. Testing and development. The cloud can give developers the ability to reduce costs and move products to market faster. Online code editors let developers access their code from anywhere as well as share it with other team members to resolve bugs, perform tests, add improvements, or address other issues. International teams can keep the development process continuously moving as differing time zones mean that as one team ends the day another one is just beginning.

The cloud is useful outside of a business context as well. It can be a handy tool for organizing personal commitments as well as family coordination. With so many devices coming into play, synchronization is key to keeping everyone on the same page. Families can benefit from shared calendars, to-do lists, photos, and similar family documents while individual users can easily sync multiple devices and files.


What are some other ways for everyday users to take advantage of the cloud?

1. Maintain copies of important documents. Users can store important documents on secured cloud networks for easy access during emergencies. For example, keeping contact sheets on the cloud gives users quick access to critical phone numbers and email addresses. Users can also keep more sensitive information, like medication records and membership details, stored in password-protected files on a secure cloud.

2. Share files in a continually updating environment. While social media sites allow users to stay informed about what’s happening with distant friends and family, they may still be missing out on key events. People that want to share photos and videos of their families can connect with relatives in other states or countries through the cloud. With proper synchronization, cloud clients can automatically update these files with no extra effort on the user’s part.

3. Use it for planning, to-do lists and progress reports. Both personal and business users can use cloud applications to more efficiently coordinate with other people. Spreadsheets, calendarss and other documents can help users track progress on personal or business projects. All connected users can contribute without wasting time with separate meetings or conference calls.

4. Store entertainment. Cloud-connected homes allow for easier storage and management of multimedia files. Users can access files throughout their homes to allow for a multi-room entertainment experience.

The cloud offers many advantages for both business and personal users. With the cooperation it fosters, it can help to drive business opportunities, better coordination, and creates a truly connected atmosphere. Users that embrace the cloud and synchronization can look forward to enhanced collaboration and organization.
Images: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Nick Rojas is a journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. and Chicago, IL. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.

Filed Under: Connectivity, ICT Installer, Networking, Solutions, Technology
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