Covering the latest industry trends and an excellent source of thought leadership.
This is the first post in a three-part blog series on Rethinking the Outsourced Cloud for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) – check back at our blog for Part II and III coming soon next week.
A recent Wall Street Journal article on cloud security details the trends of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) when it comes to concerns about security in the outsourced cloud.
In 2008, 72 percent of small businesses (less than 100 employees) flagged security as the main reason they were not outsourcing their IT infrastructure to the cloud, while 63 percent of medium-sized businesses (100 to 999 employees) echoed their concern. But mid-2011 trends show a decrease in worries, to 50 percent for small businesses and 47 percent of medium-sized.
These statistics translate to an overall 22 percent decrease in cloud computing security concerns of small businesses since 2008, and a 16 percent decrease for mid-sized businesses.
What do these trends mean when it comes to cloud security? SMBs are starting to rethink and trust the outsourced cloud – one benefit may actually be higher levels of security. Outsourcing to an experienced IT vendor means taking advantage of their capital investments in their data center and IT infrastructure, including training staff, achieving audits or compliance with national regulatory security standards for data, such as SSAE 16 or HIPAA compliance, and technical maintenance and support.
Small and mid-sized businesses likely do not have the budget or time to build or support in-house IT, making the outsourced cloud a more cost-effective option that allows SMBs to allocate resources toward their own business growth.
When it comes to security, the WSJ article mentioned the possibility of other businesses potentially infecting files in a shared space – as well as being a hacker’s target, due to multiple entry points created by multiple users.
Private cloud computing addresses these concerns by giving SMBs a one-tenant only environment with no shared applications and greater control of their sensitive data. A private cloud is also recommended for companies with a need to regulate sensitive data, such as credit cardholder data or medical records for merchants and healthcare organizations.