Five Reasons To Make Cloud Storage A Business Priority& The Management Protocols Required

Five Reasons To Make Cloud Storage A Business Priority& The Management Protocols Required

Arun Meena, Founder & CEO, RHA Technologies, 0

An IIT Kanpur alumnus, Arun co-founded RHA in 2020, prior to which he has also incepted SchoolMyKids, and even worked with HT Media and Emaar India.

The pandemic made the world move to remote operations, and now that even the biggest nay sayers have tasted the benefits, the future is set for its larger role in business operations. The larger corporates already had the multi office environment, where they were leveraging remote operations methodologies and processes with the help of their experienced IT team. For most MSMEs though, remote access was limited to emails. The data and applications were still in the centralised and on premises servers. These companies faced the biggest disruption in the lockdown and had to quickly adopt remote access methodologies mostly based on VPN access to their central servers. Never theless, their IT staff had to stay 24x7 vigilant and schedule regular visits to the office for issues relating to either connectivity breakdown or server breakdown. These issues also caused many delays and loss of business or reduced customer experience.

The smart MSMEs were the ones that moved their data to the cloud. These organisations were then able to give controlled access to all employees as per their need. This experience raises the question whether organisations of all kinds should now prioritize cloud storage of organisation data even as we move towards work normalisation?

Cloud storage should definitely be a priority for all organisations. According to McKinsey "The biggest benefits accrue to the business from faster time to market, simplified innovation, easier scalability, and reduced risk. Cloud platforms can help deploy new digital customer experiences in days rather than months and can support analytics that would be uneconomical or simply impossible with traditional technology platforms".

The nature of the cloud storage can differ as per enterprise scale and business context. The options vary from public cloud to hybrid and private cloud storage. Also, with cloud storage, there will need to be in place a certain set of best practices to ensure realization of return on investment and ensure security, availability, and scalability.

The No.1 reason to move to cloud storage is the fact that most organisations are already using and enjoying the benefits of SaaS or cloud apps. Thus, it makes sense to create the same advantage for organisational file storage for their interaction with office productivity apps. The global success of SaaS apps has ensured that the security, availa bility, and scalability of cloud storage is acknowledged. Even in case of SMBs accountancy application like Tally makes use of cloud storage, and thus they should not shy away from exploring wider cloud storage.

Most people do not realize that cloud storage is much more secure compared to their on-premises data server. All cloud storage service providers (CSPs) spend millions of dollars on ensuring that security on their servers is top notch. The business and reputation risk of getting their servers breached is so enormous that CSPs also hire the best security talent available. This level of security investment simply cannot be matched by individual companies. The enhanced security becomes especially relevant when we consider the increasing incidence of ransomware attacks even in India. The other natural worry of organisations is about the cloud data compromise due to password issues. Depending on requirements, organisations can further secure their cloud storage by way of cloud storage encryption services.
Cloud storage also starts the organizations journey towards lower IT costs. While the subscription cost of the cloud is an expense, the savings begin with the removal of need to keep the server upgraded and updated with the latest version of operating system and security software, thus immediately creating a cost saving. Additional savings are realized with reduced time and attention requirement of IT team for managing data server related issues.

Anytime anywhere access and related productivity gains that directly enhance the sales process, customer experience and employee experience is the other obvious reason to prioritise cloud storage. The ability to instantly access relevant files when in the midst of a critical discussion with a customer, vendor or prospect is essential for competitive advantage. The use cases for remote access of files have been well established during the pandemic lockdown. The advantage of cloud storage is the easier management, and near 100 percent uptime and security.

The ability to instantly access relevant files when in the midst of a critical discussion with a customer, vendor or prospect is essential for competitive advantage

Disaster recovery and business continuity solutions are easier and very much cheaper compared to on premises data storage. Cloud storage service providers have multiple levels of data redundancy built into their systems and offer versioning to enable extremely high level of data recovery. Such a setup in an on-premises server system is quite expensive both in terms of hardware and IT personnel cost. Additionally, it requires regular trouble shooting and testing to ensure availability at the critical time of need.

While I have listed the principal factors that should make the decision to prioritise cloud storage necessary, there are many more benefits both major and minor that will further ease ones decision. According to Gartner, "IT leaders need to formulate a cohesive cloud strategy that is expansive and forward looking to fully reap the business value of cloud".

The other key aspect of moving to cloud storage is the management protocol needed as best practices. I can assure you that these management protocols while important are extremely cost effective and resource light to implement as compared to on premises storage. These include offline backup of cloud data, data access control protocol, subscription management, and data capacity management practices.

While the cloud storage provides excellent data security, data prudence dictates that an offline backup of all data is also maintained. The good news is that this does not need the extensive highend infrastructure that was the case for on premise storage. Simple regular back-up protocol to inexpensive drives is enough.

Data access control is similar to what would have been implemented in the case of on-premises storage earlier. It defines who can access what location of the storage and takes cares of required changes, addition, and deletion of permissions as per business context. As cloud storage is subscription driven, there is a need to ensure timely payment to the service provider.

Data capacity management protocol is actually linked to the scalability benefit of cloud storage. Regular monitoring of available storage space and scaling up or scaling down the subscription plan creates cost efficiencies and adds to the RoI of cloud storage.

Cloud storage will thus prove beneficial for organisations in every industry and of very size. It will create cost savings for the organisation, improve business competitiveness and reduce some dependency on IT teams. Importantly it will well position the organisation for more productive cloud journey that delivers further benefits.