Cloud storage is a boon if risks are well managed

Cloud storage can benefit businesses if they carefully confront the associated risks.

While cloud storage may be an invaluable asset to IT departments in businesses, they may not reap the benefits unless the associated risks are carefully considered and managed.

Research from analysts at Quocirca suggest that keeping data safe and complying with data protection laws are one of the top concerns for users of cloud computing.

Part of the reasons for this is due to the rise in the use of unmanaged devices within private clouds. Many employees chose to connect to a network using their own devices, which often they also choose to use outside of their work. If these devices are not properly protected then company data may be put at risk of a cyber attack.

Writing for Computer Weekly, Clive Longbottom of Quocirca summed the situation up as this: "There is goodness in cloud storage systems but the amount of information lying outside the reach and control of the organisation still means that something has to be done to make it work for the user - and the organisation."

However, if businesses want to move forward quickly and are poised for rapid growth then turning to cloud storage in their IT departments is really the only way to go.

Cloud storage offers a level of scalability that is no longer feasible from in house infrastructure. When companies that use cloud find that the number of customers and suppliers they do business with increases, or when they have a large influx of staff, then they can simply contact their provider and have their storage expanded to meet their needs. Similarly, if the business contracts, then the cloud can be scaled back accordingly.

With in house infrastructure, companies would need to order hardware as it is needed and find that there may be a gap between the time when the necessity arises and when their new systems are installed. Furthermore, if they find that they need less storage then they will find that their investments in new hardware will go to waste.