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Cloud Contingencies - Safeguarding Your Business in the Cloud

Published on 14 October 13
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Cloud computing has risen from esoteric outsider to mainstream king of the enterprise IT market, encouraging businesses to ditch costly on-site solutions in favour of scalable, future-proof services hosted at remote data centres. While there was some hesitance among organisations when it came to using the cloud to run mission-critical applications and store precious, private data, this seems to be dissipating as trust increases.

A recent Virtustream study found that the majority of businesses are going to migrate important information and services to the cloud in 2014, signalling another sea change in the way that the various solutions in this market are being deployed. The same report also identified persistent issues with the cloud that are still at the top of the list of concerns which businesses have when considering adoption, with security and resilience remaining uncertain in many organisations. So what is convincing businesses to use the cloud for more than just hosting non-critical services and instead entrust far more integral software and information to its bosom?
Provider Responsibilities

When entering into an agreement with a third party which involves the provision of goods or services, there are certain expectations involved which, when it comes to the cloud, should increase business confidence in the value of this type of IT platform.

Cloud providers rely on the trust and loyalty of their customers to drive revenue growth and combat competitors. In fact it is this element that often clinches sales above and beyond the issue of price, because businesses place significant value on being assured that their mission-critical apps and data will always be available.


The cloud market is relatively diverse, so not all providers and platforms will be able to offer levels of resilience which are equal to others, for whatever reason. This means that a business is also endowed with a degree of responsibility when it comes to choosing the right company to take the reins. Checking up on the reputation and track record of a provider is essential, as it will give you an idea of the quality of service that you can expect to receive going forwards. Evidence of significant periods of unplanned downtime is a warning sign, while robust data centre designs and a lack of historic outages should be seen as a positive.


A good cloud provider will not require that potential customers do a lot of digging before they decide, but should give businesses reason to trust it upfront. Things like redundant data centre components, secondary power supplies, sustainable network infrastructures and properly trained technical staff will help to minimise any qualms you might have about migrating mission-critical apps and data away from internal servers.


Businesses in this position are justified in expecting and indeed demanding that the provider they pick will have its own bundle of built-in contingencies so that disasters can be averted and continuity is never threatened. Having data backed up to several different locations and offering the ability to host apps elsewhere if one facility is taken out of action should let you commit to a deal without trepidation.
Industry Regulation & Certification

While the cloud industry is still in its infancy, there are still existing sections of legislation and regulation which apply to providers operating in this market, as well as newer standards which have been designed specifically to protect businesses hosting data at third party facilities. Your business will be able to check to see which rules are explicitly mentioned and thoroughly enforced by providers before you migrate. Data security compliance and anti-corruption policies are also valuable and you should always check the small print within any agreement to ensure you understand the responsibilities of both parties.

There can be issues associated with using a provider that hosts your mission-critical apps in data centres located abroad, even if industry obligations should address this. By making yourself aware of all the variables and potential hiccups, you will be empowering your business and planning for the worst while hoping that such contingencies never need to be put into action.
Best Practice & Company Policies

When adopting the cloud, training your firm's employees in the appropriate use of the service you choose should not be overlooked, especially if you are committing mission-critical data and core apps to this type of solution.

Your business will also be facing obligations over the protection of customer information, as well as being aware that minimising the chance of problems will help to improve productivity and allow for disaster recovery to occur smoothly, even in dire situations.


Laying out cloud usage policies will be necessary if the service is only going to be used on-site, but with more and more businesses encouraging employees to harness mobile and remote working tools, there is a greater need to ensure that everyone understands the implications of such access.


Although the cloud can help to protect data by keeping it safely housed on servers rather than stored locally on a portable device, those who have access to hosted services in the field could still leave the business exposed if adequate measures are not taken to promote security and prevent data loss and other breaches.
Platform Choice

Businesses may be nervous about using a public cloud platform for mission-critical apps and data, but if this is the case then there are still ways to harness the cloud without having to compromise on security or functionality. Larger organisations may choose to harness private cloud services, which give them a greater degree of control over the hardware, software and security measures that are in place to offer protection. For those that still want the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud, a hybrid set-up may be appropriate, blending private and public cloud solutions to overcome the limitations of each. Businesses deserve to be able to control their own IT destiny, whether by managing data centres internally or outsourcing this responsibility to a third party provider.

Safeguarding your business in the cloud will be a priority and the cloud contingencies that you have in place could mean the difference between long term stability and sudden disaster. The best protection is offered by careful planning and constant vigilance, while ignorance of the facts of the cloud and the risks which may be faced will leave you exposed.


Since many companies have considered the faults and still chosen to adopt the cloud to host mission-critical apps and data, the advantages that this type of solution can offer are clearly significant enough to outweigh doubts, which should be seen as a positive sign by any business looking to migrate in the coming months to gain the competitive advantage.











Cloud computing has risen from esoteric outsider to mainstream king of the enterprise IT market, encouraging businesses to ditch costly on-site solutions in favour of scalable, future-proof services hosted at remote data centres. While there was some hesitance among organisations when it came to using the cloud to run mission-critical applications and store precious, private data, this seems to be dissipating as trust increases.
A recent Virtustream study found that the majority of businesses are going to migrate important information and services to the cloud in 2014, signalling another sea change in the way that the various solutions in this market are being deployed. The same report also identified persistent issues with the cloud that are still at the top of the list of concerns which businesses have when considering adoption, with security and resilience remaining uncertain in many organisations. So what is convincing businesses to use the cloud for more than just hosting non-critical services and instead entrust far more integral software and information to its bosom?

Provider Responsibilities

When entering into an agreement with a third party which involves the provision of goods or services, there are certain expectations involved which, when it comes to the cloud, should increase business confidence in the value of this type of IT platform.
Cloud providers rely on the trust and loyalty of their customers to drive revenue growth and combat competitors. In fact it is this element that often clinches sales above and beyond the issue of price, because businesses place significant value on being assured that their mission-critical apps and data will always be available.

The cloud market is relatively diverse, so not all providers and platforms will be able to offer levels of resilience which are equal to others, for whatever reason. This means that a business is also endowed with a degree of responsibility when it comes to choosing the right company to take the reins. Checking up on the reputation and track record of a provider is essential, as it will give you an idea of the quality of service that you can expect to receive going forwards. Evidence of significant periods of unplanned downtime is a warning sign, while robust data centre designs and a lack of historic outages should be seen as a positive.

A good cloud provider will not require that potential customers do a lot of digging before they decide, but should give businesses reason to trust it upfront. Things like redundant data centre components, secondary power supplies, sustainable network infrastructures and properly trained technical staff will help to minimise any qualms you might have about migrating mission-critical apps and data away from internal servers.

Businesses in this position are justified in expecting and indeed demanding that the provider they pick will have its own bundle of built-in contingencies so that disasters can be averted and continuity is never threatened. Having data backed up to several different locations and offering the ability to host apps elsewhere if one facility is taken out of action should let you commit to a deal without trepidation.

Industry Regulation & Certification

While the cloud industry is still in its infancy, there are still existing sections of legislation and regulation which apply to providers operating in this market, as well as newer standards which have been designed specifically to protect businesses hosting data at third party facilities. Your business will be able to check to see which rules are explicitly mentioned and thoroughly enforced by providers before you migrate. Data security compliance and anti-corruption policies are also valuable and you should always check the small print within any agreement to ensure you understand the responsibilities of both parties.
There can be issues associated with using a provider that hosts your mission-critical apps in data centres located abroad, even if industry obligations should address this. By making yourself aware of all the variables and potential hiccups, you will be empowering your business and planning for the worst while hoping that such contingencies never need to be put into action.

Best Practice & Company Policies

When adopting the cloud, training your firm's employees in the appropriate use of the service you choose should not be overlooked, especially if you are committing mission-critical data and core apps to this type of solution.
Your business will also be facing obligations over the protection of customer information, as well as being aware that minimising the chance of problems will help to improve productivity and allow for disaster recovery to occur smoothly, even in dire situations.

Laying out cloud usage policies will be necessary if the service is only going to be used on-site, but with more and more businesses encouraging employees to harness mobile and remote working tools, there is a greater need to ensure that everyone understands the implications of such access.

Although the cloud can help to protect data by keeping it safely housed on servers rather than stored locally on a portable device, those who have access to hosted services in the field could still leave the business exposed if adequate measures are not taken to promote security and prevent data loss and other breaches.

Platform Choice

Businesses may be nervous about using a public cloud platform for mission-critical apps and data, but if this is the case then there are still ways to harness the cloud without having to compromise on security or functionality. Larger organisations may choose to harness private cloud services, which give them a greater degree of control over the hardware, software and security measures that are in place to offer protection. For those that still want the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud, a hybrid set-up may be appropriate, blending private and public cloud solutions to overcome the limitations of each. Businesses deserve to be able to control their own IT destiny, whether by managing data centres internally or outsourcing this responsibility to a third party provider.
Safeguarding your business in the cloud will be a priority and the cloud contingencies that you have in place could mean the difference between long term stability and sudden disaster. The best protection is offered by careful planning and constant vigilance, while ignorance of the facts of the cloud and the risks which may be faced will leave you exposed.

Since many companies have considered the faults and still chosen to adopt the cloud to host mission-critical apps and data, the advantages that this type of solution can offer are clearly significant enough to outweigh doubts, which should be seen as a positive sign by any business looking to migrate in the coming months to gain the competitive advantage.

This blog is listed under Cloud Computing and IT Security & Architecture Community

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