2016 may be the year we all take off for the cloud, or at least that’s what tech experts have been saying. But as businesses consider shifting a range of information and software to this nebulous format, it’s important that we consider security, particularly when handling financial information. Is cloud-based financial software secure? And if it is, should your company move into the cloud this year? Here’s what you need to know.
Think About Size
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is that it’s a scalable format. That means if your business is small now but you project it growing significantly in the next few months or years, the cloud can be a great option as it allows you to expand almost infinitely at a moment’s notice. You don’t have to worry about needing too much space or too many accounts because the cloud can accommodate you.
On the other hand, if your business is very small – maybe just a few employees – moving the to the cloud can be an unnecessary hassle. If you can manage your expenses and payroll with an Excel spreadsheet or two, you probably shouldn’t worry about using cloud-based software. Just make sure you’ve backed up your documents well.
Because the concept of the cloud is hard to imagine, it’s easy to worry about it’s security. You know where your data is saved when it’s on your computer, but where does it live when you use cloud software?
The cloud is a kind of global system and different cloud companies specialize in different things, but ultimately all cloud companies are security-focused. This actually puts them way ahead of most standard software companies who can’t control the strength of your encryption or firewall once they’ve handed over their software to you.
Increased use of the cloud has certainly made it a target for hackers, so it’s still important to have a company-based plan for how to handle a potential breach. However, since your business is also freed from the physical data management, you should have more resources to devote to this process. Plan and budget for the worst but expect the best from your cloud service providers.
Stay Up To Date
While your IT department hopefully updates your devices and security on a regular basis, this is another area where the cloud really stands out. Cloud systems are upgraded constantly to be the newest and most secure. And unlike when you change software or upgrade your servers, you aren’t responsible for merging your data or otherwise wrangling format changes. Your cloud provider handles it all.
Overall assessment has concluded that the cloud is the place to be today, not just for low-stakes programs or storage, but for vital information like financials. And what’s more, as the cloud shifts from platform-as-a-service to software-as-a-service, the prospects for high ROI look great. Businesses are going all in on cloud computing. Make 2016 the year you commit to this revolution.