Those of us who know our horror films will tell you there are rules you have to abide by if you don’t want to get snuffed out by the bogey man.
- Don’t go into the dark forest without a torch. Especially don’t film yourself doing it. Wait until morning.
- Don’t say you’ll be right back. You won’t.
- Don’t break the law. A moral failing and I’m afraid you’re serial killer fodder.
- Don’t forget to check behind the doors. The bad guy is always hiding behind the doors (unless he’s under the bed).
To prevent yourself from having cloud terrors there are just as many rules you have to abide by. Try not to give yourself nightmares.
Ask about security. The threat of a hacker or email virus is enough to make you scream and it’s the last thing you want keeping you awake at night. Security should never be an afterthought but a central part of your strategy and deployment. Ask your provider what their security set-up is, whether they have any awards and industry recognition as well as how it works. Giacom use a filtering process that runs myriad tests on each email sent through the system. If you use Hosted exchange, for example, it means each incoming message is scanned for virus or spam, keeping your inbox as safe as possible.
Understand exactly what you need and know what you’re getting. This seems like such a simple thing but fail to think about it and it’s the fastest route to giving yourself nightmares. The whole idea of the cloud is to help streamline your IT needs. If you have a consumer arm to your business then you’ll have cloud services for that front-facing side and another for the working “back-end” of the business. If you bring in a series of cloud services that need intricate management and juggling of your time then are you really saving yourself anything?
Make sure you have a strategy in place, understand the services you need, how they are going to be managed and by whom. Have regular reports and audits to monitor how it is working, particularly in the first year and make sure your staff is on-board.
Have strict rules in place about usage and management. Policies and procedures are vital if the implementation of a new piece of kit is going to go swimmingly. There need to be clear rules about how the technology is used, for example the information that is shared and put in the Cloud. Your business data is so closely linked to your offer and identity, as well as your ability to combat the competition you need to do everything you can to protect it. Have a framework in place for how the Cloud is used and make sure all staff understand it.
This might be big issues but they are also easy to fix. The rules of the cloud are all about making sure you’re safe, protected and that everyone understands what it’s there for. The cloud and Exchange hosting is designed to make your life easier, not to give you sleepless nights.
Image: Thunder Light by Petr Kratochvil