4 “Gotchas” most IT pros won’t tell you when sell­ing you their Cloud so­lu­tion

Asian Journal - - Tax & Technology - Bob Mil­liken Bob Mil­liken is the pres­i­dent of Cas­ca­dia Sys­tems Group. Connect with Bob at TheITguy@Cas­ca­di­aSys­tem­sGroup.com, or give us a call – 604.270.1730. Your com­ments are ap­pre­ci­ated – Com­put­erCents@Cas­ca­di­aSys­tem­sGroup.com

Are you us­ing any cloud ap­pli­ca­tions to store data (and aren’t most of us) ? Then lis­ten up! There are a few “gotchas” you need to know about 3rd-party cloud apps that most sales reps will never tell you.

1. They aren’t re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing a backup of your data. If you read the small print of your con­tract, you’ll see that in ev­ery way pos­si­ble, your cloud provider is NOT re­spon­si­ble for data loss or back­ups – even if it’s their fault. In fact, Of­fice 365 will only keep 3 days’ backup of your data; so if you delete or over­write a file and don’t no­tice it un­til 4-5 days later, it’s GONE. If your data is im­por­tant, you need to im­ple­ment a backup so­lu­tion that works with cloud ap­pli­ca­tions. 2. What you see may NOT be what you get. There’s noth­ing more frus­trat­ing than an in­cred­i­bly slow ap­pli­ca­tion when you’re try­ing to work. But there are a lot of things that can de­ter­mine how fast your cloud ap­pli­ca­tions run, such as the file size you’re work­ing on, CPUs and RAM and stor­age, time of day, day of the week, your In­ter­net con­nec­tion and the num­ber of users ac­cess­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion. Make sure you get some verification of the speed in your spe­cific en­vi­ron­ment be­fore spend­ing a lot of money, time and ag­gra­va­tion mov­ing to a new cloud ap­pli­ca­tion. 3. What if they cancel you? Here’s a scary sit­u­a­tion: what if your cloud provider de­cides to shut down your ac­count be­cause they go out of busi­ness or sim­ply de­cide not to ser­vice you any­more? Or what if you want out? Make sure you have in writ­ing what hap­pens if you cancel your con­tract and what your cloud provider can and can­not do if they go out of busi­ness, cancel your ac­count or have any other is­sues that would cause ser­vice in­ter­rup­tion. Mov­ing a net­work from a cloud plat­form is NOT a sim­ple task and you need to make sure you can get your data and that you’ll be given suf­fi­cient time to make the tran­si­tion. 4. Where is your data lo­cated? Be­lieve it or not, most of us don’t know where our cloud data is stored. Af­ter all, we are talk­ing about your fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion, client data, and other sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion! Canadian busi­nesses can avoid the im­pli­ca­tions of the US Pa­triot act by in­sist­ing that all of their data - file stor­age, email, back­ups, ap­pli­ca­tions (may not al­ways be pos­si­ble), repli­ca­tion sites, ev­ery­thing - be stored in Canadian owned, op­er­ated and man­aged fa­cil­i­ties only, and not scat­tered around sites in the US and around the globe. If you need help pre­par­ing your plan to move to your busi­ness to the cloud, or if you still have con­cerns about the cloud, don’t hes­i­tate to give us a call and we’ll help you put in place a solid plan to get you there.

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