Trust in the cloud. Really? IT sometimes tries to push the latest and greatest stuff. For many of our customers, making sure the vendors are ready for prime time is where we spend more of our time on projects more than anything else.

We started 2013 with a string of cloud problems... nothing like starting fresh!  Amazon had a pretty horrible outage last week, so did our "former" preferred Citrix partner (www.novelaspect.com).

Within one week, there were two business days (plus two weekend days/nights) in lost productivity from a "High-End Citrix Boutique". They specialize in hosting accounting platforms. By visiting their blog I can surmise they grew and didn't plan or have adequate resources to handle the increased load. Nor did my experience tell me they really had any disaster planning in place because it was the same experience 4 days later. Nothing irks us more than someone who doesn't learn from mistakes or make it a priority to deal with things proactively.

So we ask this --- Trust in the cloud? ONLY after you thoroughly check your vendor. If there are not a global figurehead in the cloud space, spot checks (or changes) are mandatory to make sure they continue to perform as required for your business. 

How do you feel about putting your company data files in the cloud? Do you trust it? Do you think about it?

Amazon has their storage product, called S3, and a LOT of developers and companies "resell" it and mark it up. There are also online backup companies that say "let us back up that data" for you. It's important to understand how these products work and also to verify they are doing what they say they can do.

Google apps is a cloud offering, and a good one too! So is Freshbooks and Basecamp! These offerings have an awesome mobility factor. Getting the data out of them is trivial. Not all applications are as easy to get the data out of. We've sometimes found the opposite, the company with the application and hosting combined can sometimes be the least functional when trying to get your data out and change platforms. Beware proprietary systems!

What do you do or how do you operate if they become inaccessible due to their own technical difficulties? How do you know your data is secure and available?

We can help guide your business so that when you step into the cloud, you don't fall.