With the growing acceptance of BYOD and the almost imminent threat of a cyber hack, companies are forced to rework their business continuity plans (BCP) to focus on ways to lessen the chances of a cyber attack and plan on how to respond if the company’s systems are hacked. In fact, companies are taking the threat so seriously that according to a study by AT&T, 63% of executives cite the looming threat of security breaches as their most important security concern for 2013 and 78% said their companies include the possibility of a network security event in their BCP.
So, with so many employees wanting access to your company’s data on so many different devices, how do you maintain security? Well, many companies (an estimated 76% by end-of-year) have chosen to invest in using the cloud. While it has many benefits, it is not without flaws. Make sure to consider the following pros and cons of using the cloud before investing in the service.
Cloud computing may seem like a big investment, but in the long run, it saves a lot of money. You will save on paper and transaction costs, and reduce the amount of hardware you need to maintain. Most notably, you will save on software updates. Many software companies now allow you to pay a monthly fee to use their product via the cloud. You will always be using the newest version with no cost to update.
The cloud is flexible; you can add and subtract storage so you are only ever paying for what you need.
How many times have you gotten ready to work on something and realized the file you needed was on a different computer? Never again will that happen with the cloud. You have an all access pass to all your files, anytime and anywhere.
The cloud also makes collaboration easier. Everyone will always have the latest version of the file as soon as it is saved. No more emailing versions back and forth.
Limited File Locations
You never know how secure your employees’ devices are, so the fewer places your sensitive files are saved the better. Cloud computing reduces the need for employees to save files to their own devices, which will heighten security.
Essentially, you will be handing over your company files to a third-party. You are asking a company that is not associated with you to manage, protect, and retain potentially confidential information. That is scary. If you decide the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and choose to use the cloud, you need to trust your provider 100%. If you don’t, move on.
Stuff breaks. Even the most prestigious cloud service providers can have technical difficulties from time to time, which will mean no access to your files for a while. The cloud is dependent on internet access, so if the internet goes down, you will have limited functionality.
Once you have committed to cloud computing, you are often at the mercy of the service provider. They schedule maintenance and downtime, they choose hardware and software options (which can lack the features of local software), and transferring data isn’t easy, so you are essentially stuck with the provider you choose.
Switching to cloud computing is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Because of the extreme nature of both the pros and the cons, companies need to think seriously about whether or not this is the best way to address the BYOD revolution.