Now that companies are able to use and process more and bigger data on a daily basis, they must also find a secure way to store and access it. Many businesses assume incorrectly that the cloud is not a reliable place to keep data because it can put sensitive information in the hands of intruders very easily. As the technology evolves, however, many organizations start to understand the benefits of cloud data storage for their business in comparison with storing data on a local machine. Storing data in the cloud is a normal practice for enterprises with 70% of all organizations having at least one app in the cloud today. It plays a vital role in supporting the businesses’ uptime given that organizations consider carefully the cloud provider to whom they wish to entrust their data.
What does storing data in the cloud actually mean?
Cloud storage is a service model for maintenance, management and back-up of data on remote virtual servers, which is made available to users over a network or “cloud”. Just like on-premise deployment, data is physically deployed, but the difference is that it spans multiple servers which are sometimes spread in multiple locations and the physical environment is owned and managed by a hosting company or a “cloud provider”.
Cloud services are becoming an increasingly desired business solution because they offer incomparable advantages in terms of scalability, redundancy of data and cost. The rise of users who rely on cloud-based services worldwide is projected to significantly rise from 2,4 billion to 3,6 billion users by the end of 2018.
A research from 2016 by Vormetric, a leader in enterprise data security for physical, public and private cloud environments, shows that 85% of enterprises store sensitive data in the cloud today.
Security is the greatest concern
Data security is an ever-growing concern and brings the debate about how secure actually cloud storage is. Today it’s possible to encrypt massive amounts of data that cannot be broken by hackers and thus secure all sensitive data stored in the cloud. Moreover, many cloud-based solutions offer multi-level security to safeguard information. The services running in the cloud are as secure as the cloud infrastructure itself and depend on the service implementation of the cloud provider. For reference, in 2017 Amazon Web Services is the most popular public cloud infrastructure platform, comprising approximately 41% of application workloads in the public cloud with Microsoft Azure (29%) quickly gaining ground in application workload. Google Cloud Platform is third with 3% of application workloads followed by IBM SoftLayer, Rackspace, and other providers that comprise the rest 21% of the market.
Application workloads on each IAAS platform
Given that BI insights have an extreme value for hackers and network intruders, data encryption and the choice of a reliable cloud provider is of utmost importance. In 2017 a survey on Global Enterprise Security was conducted by Fortinet (multinational corporation for development of cybersecurity software) according to which:
“37% of the respondents claim cloud security as the most disregarded area when it comes to time and resource allocation. As a result, half of businesses are already planning investment in cloud security throughout 2018”.
Reduced latency and quick decision-making
Cloud solutions are the future of information storage, especially for large enterprises that ensure top-notch technologies and support customers all over the world. They ensure more centralized data storage, flexibility and, most of all, reliable back-up should a server go down. Trusted organizations cannot afford to experience delays due do data deployment on a single server. Since all data is stored online, back-up and restoration in the event of disaster is much easier. Core systems, applications and data are duplicated and physically moved to another system that keeps back-up of data, ensuring business continuity.
Lower costs and sensible investment for the enterprise
Cloud storage has significant benefits when it comes to efficiency. It eliminates capital expenses for infrastructure, because enterprises pay for additional server maintenance only when they feel the need to add another server to the server farm and increase the storage at their disposal. This means that cloud storage expenses can be cut down according to the need of the enterprise data to scale up or down. Enterprises don’t have to cope with issues such as out-of-date hardware, faulty equipment or constant software updates. Businesses are prepared to tackle any changing demands of the enterprise or the employees, giving them a significant advantage over their competitors who choose to rely on legacy on-premise solutions.
The cloud offers numerous benefits to both users and businesses in terms of ease of access at any point and unparalleled cost savings. It gives businesses a reliable and flexible solution for storing their business intelligence data. Enterprises can enjoy high uptime rates without the need to manage, support or supervise information deployment.