Cloud Computing: The Issue of Outages

Many firms are moving large amounts of data onto the cloud in order to take advantage of the cost savings and efficiency increases inherent to a managed services approach to IT governance.  However, even the most reliable IT company may occasionally experience events that lead to a ‘cloud outage’ during which such data may be unavailable.  This is not a reason to avoid cloud computing, but it does mean that businesses should go into this IT paradigm with their eyes open so that they can take proactive steps to make the cloud computing experience as positive as possible.

Keep Time Sensitivity in Mind

One basic rule of thumb for companies to keep in mind concerns data that is highly time-sensitive.  If this data is entrusted to the cloud and no local backup of it exists, a cloud outage could have far-reaching repercussions.  The way to avoid this is to be sure to keep a local backup copy of any time-sensitive data.  This backup will, in many cases, never be needed at all, but with vital information it truly is better to be safe than sorry.

Exercise Oversight

The other major strategy that companies can adopt in order to help reduce the chance of a cloud outage is to exercise diligent oversight over the IT company providing them with managed services.  Before contracting with such a provider, companies should evaluate its commitment to provide services that are highly likely to be interrupted.  This involves investigating the redundancies present in the service providers systems and asking about their provision in case of electrical grid disturbances.

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