Cloud Services for Business: A Complete Guide

Back in the day clouds sometimes meant rain. In today’s day and age, cloud services mean evolution, growth, and the future of how everyone will share and safeguard their data.

The days of worrying where we keep your valuable data in a server box in your office are over. Your business no longer has to worry about power failures or theft of hardware.

Companies are warming up to the cloud more each day. Cloud services offer data storage and ubiquitous access from any internet connection.

Companies can put robust websites or put their line of business applications into a cloud platform. Cloud computing doesn’t rely on your local power company.

Check out this guide to cloud services for business to learn more.

Data in a Fortress

Picture this for a moment. Your data sits in a heavily guarded facility, some of which house data for Fortune 100 companies. That facility has redundant power.

It is most likely reinforced against natural disasters. The facility has data backup systems that many smaller businesses could never afford.

So, given that reality why would anyone want to keep their data in a small server box sitting in a telecom or broom closet in their office?

As for security issues, the firewalls and other security services employed by the Big 3 Cloud vendors (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google) would put any single firewall to shame.

Sure we’ve heard of breaches in the cloud but many of those are caused by lax security policies or you guessed it human error.

Migrating Legacy Archives

An important aspect of cloud services compliance is having the ability to quickly serve up archived data and records in the event of an audit. An important piece of a successful migration to a cloud-based deployment is the ability to fully leave the locally deployed legacy system behind.

These two facts make archive migration an important aspect of a successful full migration to a cloud-based software deployment.

Depending on the nature of your legacy archives, you’ll need to find a migration solution that works for you. There are a number of strategies and services available to help you solve this piece.

The important thing is that you and your organization take the time to make your archives ready for rapid, cloud-based service of any audited records.

Resilient Technologies

Cloud Servers now have more redundancy than any local server. Systems like those in AWS and Azure utilizes image-based backups or snapshots. This enables you to quickly roll back your server in the event of corruption or heaven forbid a virus run amok.

Load balancing allows you to easily scale up in case you need more horsepower.

Say Goodbye to Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)

Worried about the capital cost of your next new server, backup system, and warranties? A move to cloud computing can help you convert those capital expenses into a monthly affordable operational one.

This is helping companies get a more predictable model for expenditure.

Using a Central Records Center

The basic workflow around this cloud service is to import archived documents to a central cloud-based location.

This approach is easy to understand.

The basic workflow makes records serving a logistically simple process. It adds a step to the archive maintenance process that other approaches can potentially avoid.

This strategy necessitates importing documents to the archive center at the moment they become historic.

Deploying an In-place Record Work Flow

This strategy takes advantage of cloud’s in-place archive document flag. The in-place record enables your team to tag documents as archives.

Your record serving interface can then access the documents where they are. This makes it unnecessary to move documents to a different location when it comes time to archive them.

This strategy saves time. But it represents a potential security risk by opening pathways to project internals.

Microsoft has addressed these security risks with its robust archiving system. The system makes an in-place record keeping a perfectly safe, secure and effective strategy for your archive center.

Using a Hybrid Archive Management Strategy

This is a combination of the above two strategies. It’s a strategy that can be customized to suit your specific needs.

The most common form of a hybrid record center and in-place archiving strategy is to keep archives in-place throughout the duration of a project. You can move them to the centralized record center only at the conclusion of the document’s parent project.

This is a versatile strategy that offers more flexibility. But the cost of is that of a generally more complex archiving workflow. The important thing is finding a cloud archive management strategy that best suits the needs of your project teams and your workflow.

It’s best to get several key players involved in building the right strategy.

Building a Records Center Site

Cloud services support a fully pre-configured records center site that is ready to deploy once you’ve configured your records management system. While the default implementation may seem sufficient, it’s important to verify that your records center site is organized and navigable.

Getting into the finer details of page layout is especially important for those organizations who need to comply with DoD 5015.2.

Design Criteria Standard For Electronic Records Management

Get a coder to go through cloud configuration documentation and get this information to the individual or team responsible for your compliance practices.

Remember that even the most well-built records management strategy won’t suffice for your organization if it doesn’t have an intuitive and thought-out records center site.

Cloud Services For Business

Once you’ve built a solid records management and serving strategy, take the time to write up an official internal policy. Include task-specific details.
The best cloud solutions rely on consistency.

The only way to ensure adherence well into the future as your business grows and evolves with its scalable cloud-based platform is to set your compliance strategy in stone at its inception.

Explore our blog for more cloud services for business.