Is the cloud right for you? Five questions to consider

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As cloud software gains popularity, some companies are jumping on the bandwagon without doing their research. The all-in-one capabilities of storing technology systems, software and data, combined with low prices, are attractive qualities, but moving to the cloud might not be a fit for every company. And, there are risks that many fail to consider.  

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Deciding which platform is right for your company can be a challenge. McGladrey's Cloud risk: Striking a balance between savings and security provides insight on available options as well as potential risks. The whitepaper details what you should think about if you are considering a cloud solution:

  • Should we choose a public or private cloud? A public cloud stores data on a shared server, which in return lowers the cost. Public is favorable for simpler tasks such as email and basic file or document storage. Private cloud comes with a larger expense but allows a more flexible and controlled solution for data. Private clouds house data in a single setting within a vendor or your company's environment. 
  • What about security and privacy? Choosing cloud options can be difficult but selecting a provider with the right security and privacy standards for your company is imperative. As companies are moving to cloud storage, hackers are taking notice.
  • What are the risks to outsourcing? Outsourcing minimizes your knowledge about applications and their usage. Close monitoring is imperative to view and manage applications.
  • What are the additional costs? Companies may see a decrease in IT costs but cloud software often requires revised business processes, which adds an upfront cost. 
  • Are there compliance issues? Check with your legal counsel and internal audit to decide which cloud option meets your guidelines, policies and regulatory requirements.

There are many advantages to leveraging cloud-based technologies, but it's not for every organization. Understanding your business needs and the capabilities of the various platforms is a start. Ultimately, the choice must be based on the organizational needs now and where it plans to be in the future. For a more detailed understanding of the considerations involved go to, Cloud risk: Striking a balance between savings and security. The paper can help you evaluate whether a cloud-based platform is right for your business. If it is, seek a trusted advisor to provide an analysis to determine the true costs for the right solution and whether the benefits outweigh the risks. 

SOURCE McGladrey