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Is your SME getting on the cloud?

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Cloud technology has been one of the major buzzwords in the tech scene for the past few years, but are local businesses catching up to the trend?

October 11, 2012 5:57 by



According to the recently released results of the 2012 SMB Cloud Adoption Survey, the future of cloud technology in the UAE isn’t looking, excuse the pun, too cloudy. Currently, 40 percent of respondents say they use cloud services for personal use with more than 25 percent of respondents saying they used the cloud for business purposes. Though the number may be quite small, it is one which is bound to see exponential growth in the near future. After all, 89 percent of those interviewed said they are considering adopting cloud services with the next six to 24 months.

Understandably, the top concern for those considering embracing cloud technology is security and trust. When asked how confident they felt in a cloud provider hosting confidential and private information, a whopping 43 percent said they felt ambivalent. Here in the UAE, the issue of security and privacy has always been a pivotal factor of the question of cloud. In part it is a cultural attitude and on the other it is an unavoidable concern to be linked to any new technology.

So how do you combat such feelings and get with the times? If you are an SME and you are considering getting onto the cloud, perhaps you should take note of the top four things Symantec advises SMEs to keep in mind before going cloud:

Do your research: Research cloud service providers before making any decisions.  The service provider’s reputation and how long they have been offering cloud services should trump their actual size.  Look for a cloud specialist with reputable technology that knows the industry.

Assess what your needs are: There has been much hype surrounding the security of the cloud, but there is very little difference between the trust you place in your Internet Services Provider (ISP)and/or your other technology vendors. With that in mind, every organization’s security needs and expectations are different so it’s important to understand how the vendor can meet those needs.

•Consider Customer Service Standards: The best customer service departments for cloud services are staffed with cloud specialists who are available 24×7. Ensure that your chosen vendor’s customer service specialists can meet your organization’s needs.

• Test the Service:  A key advantage of cloud services is that it makes it easy to deploy a free trial and most vendors offer this to those considering their services. Start small with the trial and once satisfied, you can expand the service to include confidential data and other mission-critical systems.

 



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