Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Platform Solution

    The general consumerization of IT and the rising popularity of bring your own device (BYOD) among professionals has accelerated the growth in cloud-based solutions for sharing, syncing and storing digital content in the professional world. With this advancing technology come great benefits and great risks in all areas of cloud computing, especially enterprise-class collaboration and file sharing. Organizations of all sizes are looking for ways to share, sync and collaborate data among employees, clients and vendors in a secure and efficient manner.

    The opportunity to offer enterprise business applications from a private, public or hybrid cloud configuration gives enterprises tremendous flexibility for maximizing the cost-effectiveness of IT deployments. However, the explosion of cloud-based services has created new security vulnerabilities for enterprise organizations, as employees increasingly share confidential information with contacts around the world.

    No matter which deployment an organization chooses for their cloud computing needs, it needs to provide users with anytime, anywhere access to ensure it is enhancing productivity while having enough security controls to keep business data secure. Here are five questions that should be considered when making the choice between private cloud, public cloud and hybrid solutions, as identified by Accellion, a provider of enterprise-class, secure mobile productivity solutions.

    Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Platform Solution - slide 1

    Click through for five questions that should be considered before choosing a cloud platform solution, as identified by Accellion.

    Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Platform Solution - slide 2

    Are there regulatory oversights that impose data security requirements for your industry?

    Various industries have stricter compliance issues to deal with than others, so their security requirements may differ from other organizations. Health care organizations, for example, might choose to only use private cloud service for any applications handling protected health information (PHI) because of the stringent data privacy regulations set forth in HIPAA, and because violating those regulations can lead to multi-million-dollar penalties. The added convenience of public cloud likely isn’t worth the added risk.

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    What kind of data are you going to be storing and sharing via your cloud solution?

    If you’re in an organization that does not handle mass amounts of confidential data, you may be less concerned about security, and more concerned about flexibility and cost-effectiveness. At the opposite end of the spectrum, organizations that handle large amounts of data should put security first on their list of needs, which often means moving data into a private cloud.

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    What is your tolerance for risk?

    Risk tolerance can be determined by a number of things, from the type of data an organization works with, to the personal feelings of an executive team about data security. Any organization considering a cloud computing solution should sit down and determine how they would cope internally, and in the market, if there were a data leak, and make cloud-deployment decisions based on their risk requirements.

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    Does your data need to stay housed within a certain region?

    For instance, in European countries, regulations mandate that customer data be stored within the country where the customers live. Therefore, companies that operate in numerous countries need to choose how they will store data specific to that country, and how that solution will integrate with the broader company infrastructure. Often the only viable options are private or hybrid cloud solutions.

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    What kind of growth do you expect to have for your cloud-based applications and solutions?

    For those companies looking to grow quickly, investing in a scalable solution is the most important part of their buying decision. However, no matter the expected growth rate, any architecture should be designed with future expansion in mind. This will provide a company with more choices and a potential migration path as it matures, without the need to revamp a cloud computing or file sharing system every few years. Often a hybrid approach will work best for companies here, as they get the quick growth of a public solution with the privacy a private cloud deployment can offer.

    The best type of cloud deployment for any organization is dependent on a number of factors that are unique to that company. However, no matter what type of solution you choose, a cloud computing solution should deliver the scalability and availability that is essential for business continuity in our digitally connected era.

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