Meet Mark O’Shea: The cloud fear-slayer. Mark is Device and Platform Lead for Paradyne
, an Australian IT and Cloud Specialist and Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP). Most clients come to Paradyne ready to move to the cloud. However, they still have concerns, which often include the following:
Fear No. 1
Will my data be safe?
“Usually, I ask people, when I’m in their office: ‘Are there bars on your window?’ The answer is always ‘no.’ Then I point to their server and ask, ‘Is this your server?’ That typically ends the discussion, because people realize how vulnerable their own servers are within their building,” O’Shea says. O’Shea usually recommends Microsoft Office 365 to his customers. Not only does Office 365 secure the physical safety of your data by storing it in more than one datacenter, it provides physical security with 24-hour monitoring, seismic bracing, and authentication for entry to its facilities. In addition, all data traffic is private and protected through encryption and continuous backup.
Fear No. 2
Can I access my data if the Internet goes down?
Many small businesses run on consumer-grade Internet services that don’t meet the requirements of a cloud-enabled organization. O’Shea recommends that small businesses upgrade to a commercial offering with high-speed Internet to meet their data transmission needs and give them increased data storage. If they have multiple offices or storefronts, they can also upgrade to Ethernet service to enable their different locations to interconnect. “While upgrading to a commercial Internet connection adds additional cost, it’s worth the investment,” O’Shea says. Additionally, he recommends using a 3G or 4G network as a backup plan in case their Internet connection is temporarily unavailable.
Fear No. 3
Is transferring big files a big deal?
Sometimes Paradyne recommends that certain kinds of data be kept onsite, which helps performance. For companies that work with very large files, the performance is going to be noticeably slower if they are constantly saving and retrieving their data from the cloud. For those using Office 365, however, there are some specific technologies included that minimize the bandwidth required to synchronize large Office documents. Some Internet service providers prioritize different types of network traffic to address the bandwidth issue. Depending on what applications are being used, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic can be prioritized to ensure that communications aren’t impacted by the network load.
Fear No. 4
Who owns my data?
“You do,” O’Shea says. “It’s one of the reasons we like working with Microsoft. Their terms and conditions of service are very clear about ownership, unlike some competitors who don’t treat customer data with the same level of privacy.”
Fear No. 5
What about moving data across borders?
Data sovereignty issues may affect your solution, based on legislation in a particular country. In Australia for example, there are no Office 365 datacenters, and sometimes there is a perception that certain data can’t be stored outside of the country. Occasionally there are situations where such a scenario does hold true, based on many outdated laws or guidelines written in the pre-Internet world. “When a business encounters this type of situation, it means that some kinds of data must stay onsite, which is a problem we can easily solve using existing servers,” O’Shea says.
Is it time to make your move to the cloud?
Once people get answers to their questions, their fears recede and the vast majority see that moving to the cloud is to the advantage of their businesses’ efficiency and productivity. “And when people come to understand that they never have to buy new servers again, or spend money on upgrades or an in-house IT person to maintain, monitor, and provide quality control, that usually clinches the deal,” O’Shea says. About Mark O'Shea
O’Shea specializes in technological innovation for businesses, helping them use the power of cloud-based technologies to radically improve performance. He lives in Sydney, Australia and unwinds by taking in the local sights and sounds of nature.