For me, cloud computing is defined as the use of IT infrastructure to provide IT resources flexibly over the Internet. In the meantime, more and more companies are using dynamic resources (cloud) to store data on the Internet. According to a study by Bitkom (Cloud Monitor), 70% of the 500 companies surveyed already use cloud applications today.

Most common use case: storage of data and files

A common use case is the storage of data on the cloud, where data protection and data availability play a special role. In particular, despite the concerns, more and more secret and even protective data are being stored in the cloud, according to the study. The type of data is:

  • Non-critical information (81%),
  • Protectable data (57%) And
  • Secret information (33%).

The survey data shows that companies are increasingly storing more data in the cloud and are also connecting significantly more internal IT systems such as ERP systems to the cloud. The two use cases are explained below.

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The two most common use cases are storing data and files in the cloud (Image source: Pixabay)

Storing files in the cloud

A good approach is to store files such as text documents, images, videos and more in a secure cloud solution. There are numerous public providers that offer their own cloud solutions such as Onedrive, Dropbox and Google Drive, but also private providers that sell software that can be operated on their own servers such as ownCloud, Nextcloud and Box. The decision can be made according to the company’s own guidelines and has a significant influence on data security and data availability. In addition to desktop and browser access, all mentioned providers also offer access to the data via the iOS and Android app.

Storage of data in the cloud

Another approach is to store corporate data, such as customer names, in a cloud or cloud-enabled database. Subsequently, various ERP systems and other in-house applications are connected to this database. There is a data source that stores all the data and applications that can access the data source from anywhere on the Internet. The databases and applications can also be operated again in a public or private cloud (own servers). This again has an impact on data security and data availability. Tips for ensuring data availability will be given at the end of the article.

Businesses See Benefits in Scalability

Storing data in the cloud is designed to benefit businesses. According to the Bitkom study, the following benefits were mentioned that companies hope to achieve:

  • Faster scalability of IT (80%),
  • Geographical cooperation (76%),
  • Availability and performance of IT (64%) And
  • Organisational flexibility (61%).

The most common concerns are DATA AVAILABILITY and privacy

In addition to the opportunities and potentials, there are also concerns and obstacles for the study participants of the Bitkom study. The most important are:

  • IT outages (43%),
  • Corporate data protection incidents (39%) And
  • Increase in IT costs (34%).

It failures in particular can have a serious impact on companies and even prevent work for a short period of time. According to the study, more than a third of the companies surveyed experienced such a failure in the previous 12 months. In particular, such a failure or a reduction in data availability can have serious consequences or even a company’s downtime. It is therefore not surprising that it is at the most important point of companies.

Conclusion: Data availability in the cloud

In order to ensure meaningful data availability in the cloud, it is important to select a good cloud provider. Criteria for this are:

  • You should definitely take on Recovery Service Level Objectives (SLOs) of less than 15 min. for all applications and data.
  • Care should also be taken to ensure that the provider is highly automated. For a largely automated restart of enterprise IT after a failure, backup software should provide disaster recovery orchestration (DR) capabilities.
  • Furthermore, the references of the cloud provider are very important. Putting big names on the cloud provider can be a sign of good performance.

The cloud can offer many benefits and bring a market advantage for businesses. But there are also the risks of data protection and data availability. By choosing a cloud provider in a meaningful way, the risks can be minimized.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/wolke-finger-smartphone-telefon-2537777/

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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