To cloud or not to cloud?

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project thumb 6 To cloud or not to cloud?

Considering Moving to the Cloud?

We all know that software’s migration to the cloud has grown over the last number of years. Rightfully so, as this makes sense for services that provide access, data storage, and functionality that can be shared at a relatively lower cost without dealing with on-site hardware, infrastructure, and connectivity issues. In addition, a lot of the functionality that people and organizations are looking for is only available in the cloud. The flexibility of accessing data files and information via the internet at anytime from anywhere is a big advantage to many. In addition to the low cost of entry, this provides for quick deployment with scalability as your requirements grow.

But is the cloud the right way to go for organizations that are considering moving completely away from their existing in-house systems and storing and running their applications over the internet (a.k.a. Software as a Service (SaaS))?

One of the main reasons for reluctance to entirely move to the cloud is based on the security issues surrounding data files that could potentially be exposed to the public. While this is still a possibility, if you are using a public cloud offering, this can be virtually mitigated by opting for a private cloud to house your data and systems. The only caveat with this has to do with the regulatory and legal issues that is very much dependent on the country where the data is stored is where the laws of that country apply. However, there are other factors to consider beyond what is perceived to be a lower cost, flexibility, and scalability.

Recent attacks against one of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Dyne, go beyond the security issue and now have a dramatic impact on service and data availability. Known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, it targets online services and overwhelms it with traffic to render the service unavailable. For organizations that depend on accessibility for their mission critical business operations in a total SaaS environment, it can be disastrous when websites and online services are unavailable for any length of time. Beyond the DDoS attacks, organizations must look at the reliability of the internet services that are being offered in the business areas they operate in. When the internet is down, whether from a cyber-attack such as DDoS or simply because of local service provider issues, enterprises relying on SaaS applications have no choice but to sit and wait and hope that their provider gets back online as quickly as possible.

As an organization, if you have no control over the physical infrastructure and as such no control over the data that is stored in the cloud, it may be very difficult to honor the service commitments you make to your clients during times of outage. Cloud hosting and SaaS has its place in business and will no doubt continue to grow, but it is important for companies to make an informed decision and understand that what may appear to be a more cost effective solution may not be the best option for their business.

Reflex Enterprise Solutions offers its clients both hosting options (cloud or on-site), but we work with our clients beforehand to determine their best option so that all of our clients have a full understanding of the benefits and any potential risks.

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