Above the Clouds

Everyone prefers to fly on a sunny day.  It’s nice being able to see the roads and cars quickly transform into lines and dots below as soon as you take off. Eventually, urban areas become grids of pavement and architecture, and rural areas grids of farmlands. There’s a recognizable pattern, and that is comforting. You may not be in direct control of the plane, but you are in direct control of your comfort level.

That feeling is analogous to firms being more comfortable with having full control of their data on-premises or in a remote data-center. They can see it. They can connect to it. They have the power to control the security, backup, recovery, and maintenance of their systems. But, as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. The firm’s IT department is ultimately held accountable for system up-time and outages, and for meeting RPOs and RTOs. That burden is often deemed to be worth the benefit of having control.

Conversely, firms may fear the unknown of going to the cloud. We hear it often:

Firms should get past these fears to realize the benefits of high-availability and the simplified local infrastructure that a cloud-based system can provide.

Most of these doubts are rooted in the question of security. They are valid concerns, but cloud providers have valid answers to address them.  In the ECM space, NetDocuments touts ISO 27001 certification, customer-managed encryption keys, as well as other important security assurances. iManage Share, a cloud-based collaboration tool that integrates with the iManage Work platform, also boasts ISO 27001 certification and HIPAA compliance. These announcements and credential trophy cases are meant to dissuade firms from fearing the unknown, and assuring them that their data is safe and secure. But for many firms, getting past these concerns and accepting the cloud/SaaS model can be challenging.

On a cloudy day, there is much more mystery as soon as you take off. Your view out the window is monochrome gray. The ascent is a little bumpier. It’s noisier. Perhaps one passenger gets sick. But once you get past and above the clouds, the skies are blue, and everyone calms down as you make progress toward your destination.

The cloud may not be the right solution for you, but don’t make decisions based on fear of the unknown.