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Seminar begins to spread the word that cloud computing can be secure

We have been a busy hub of productivity since announcing our first cloud computing seminar, and the success of the event last Wednesday has given us more to go at in the way of educating businesses on de-mystifying cloud computing, what the business benefits are, and how to choose the right provider.

One of our main aims was to allay concerns that people have around the security of cloud computing. Whilst the overall model has evidently been around since the 1960’s, it is still a relatively new concept to SMEs, and the term itself can be extremely complex as it can cover all types of internet-based activity. In speaking to businesses across the board, we have always found that there is a level of naivety around the protection of data in the cloud. Following on from our seminar, the general consensus was that people were unaware that if you choose the right provider then data can actually be more secure in the cloud.

It is important that businesses are taught about the huge benefits they can gain from using a cloud solution which not only helps them manage day to day operations more effectively, but also underpins their growth strategies. We wanted to invite impartial advice from the National B2B Centre and Coventry University to show businesses that this really is a great advancement in terms of business IT.

Delegates, ranging from accountants and solicitors to musicians and virtual office services, congregated at the Management Group Training Services Centre in Coventry last Wednesday to hear expert advice from three different perspectives.

A topic of significant interest at the seminar was the impact of the USA PATRIOT Act, where data passing through an American located or owned (partially or in whole)network is accessible by American authorities. This was something that delegates appeared to be initially unaware of. One of the running themes in the feedback was that companies would want to use a provider which stores all their data in local UK datacentres, providing a much higher level of security that most SMEs could afford themselves.

Here’s what some of the attendees said:

Sean Farnell, partner at Burgis and Bullock accountants:
“The security session was very thought provoking as I wasn’t aware of the USA PATRIOT Act beforehand. It has made me think that I would definitely want all of my data remaining in the UK at all times, and the seminar as a whole has given me more clarity in what I would want and need from a cloud provider.”

Ruth Coles, director of training services at The Paperwork Team:
“I liked the security presentation a lot, as it is one area I am personally interested in. If you are storing client’s information then you need to know how secure it is. In regards to the data centre it’s good to know where the datacentres are because of having a physical image. It became clear to me that if you use one of the large American companies as a provider then it is hard to ensure that the provider is taking all the security measures themselves.”

Lewis Burden, IT manager at Challinors Solicitors:
“What I found most important were the concerns around the security of data and obtaining a service level agreement from your provider. We attended the seminar as we already use it in some respects but are on a fact finding mission as we would like to expand our use of cloud. It has made us think about giving more consideration to the provider by researching them thoroughly and we would be more inclined to go with them if they had references from existing clients who are legal firms.”

Vince O’Malley, owner of Musical Exchanges:
“I felt completely de-mystified after the presentation. I went in knowing very little about the cloud and it gave a lot of information, and considering it was such a lot to take in, it was laid out and explained in an easy to follow manner. As a company we had been discussing servers and cloud computing and since the seminar we can now see the benefit of the flexibility offered rather than an in-house or shared server, as we use now. In regards to security I didn’t know what to think beforehand, however as the seminar wen on it became clear why people may have concern, but these were well combatted by the speakers. It is now clear that with the right cloud provider it is not something you should worry about because the cloud can be more secure than other systems anyway.”

Margaret Mary Keaney, director of MMK Mediation and Consulting:
“If people did not know about cloud computing beforehand then it was a  useful seminar to begin to understand it. I am already using cloud but it was a good way to find out more about how it works as I am fairly new to it.”

We now look forward to hosting a number of other cloud computing seminars this year in order to teach businesses across the region how they can be brought forward. If you are looking at moving to cloud computing why not try it first.  With Cloudmetix you can have a 30 day trial period with no obligation.   Simply call us today on: 02476 408100

Cloud Computing: Where is your data?

With all the hype around Cloud Computing we feel it is important that we combat the concerns and criticisms raised around the subject. As with every product, there are good versions and bad versions of cloud computing, this is why it has received some negative feedback with regard to the security of data. However, as IT professionals we are able to provide expert knowledge in the field due to our hefty investment into our full platform cloud solution.

When it comes to your data security, the question is where exactly is this data and how can your ensure that it is secure? Recently, there has been much debate over the storage of data offshore in relation to the USA Patriot Act.

What is the USA Patriot Act and how does it affect cloud computing in the UK?

The Act was set up in 2001 as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th which reduced the daily freedoms of the American public and also allows for America to access data from the EU. The concern is that businesses using large cloud providers such as Microsoft, are storing their data in datacentres offshore which will not be entirely secure because of this Act. The grey area is around the storage of the data with an American owned company. If you enter into a contract directly with a US company, without going through a local UK subsidiary, your data then lies directly under US law. Therefore, if you are a UK business moving your data to the cloud it may well be important to ensure that your cloud provider bases their datacentres in the UK.

At Netmetix… We have dual datacentres that are based in the Derbyshire area – which we allow our customers to go and visit and be assured that it is secure and local. If the provider has dual datacentres, this means that there are two backups of the data; therefore if something catastrophic happened to one, there would always be the other one. Other attributes to our datacentre ensuring 100% security include:

  • Full perimeter security with internal & external CCTV
  • Photo ID swipe card entry system
  • UPS & diesel generator power backup
  • Dual Gbit Internet connections
  • Enterprise level Cisco firewalls

Cloudmetix is our fully managed and supported cloud solution which offers you Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) integrated with Software as a Service (SaaS).  The data from all of our Cloud customers is stored in the fully secure datacentre mentioned above.

If you would like to learn more about Cloudmetix and our secure local datacentres for your business then please contact us on 024 76 408100

Top 10 Cloud Computing Statistics

With cloud computing increasing in popularity we thought we would share some of the key statistics into why industry experts think it is the way forward for your business.

  1. Last year the snow caused staff shortages for 73% of companies and of these only 39% had the ability to work remotely. Cloud computing is renowned for its ability to allow employees to access the business from any location in the world. This combats any weather related issues that could hinder business at any point in the year, providing there is an internet connection.
  2. The cloud computing market is expected to rise from $40.7 billion to $241 billion by 2020. Depending on these figures, cloud computing could save 85 million tons in annual net CO₂ savings by the same year which shows the green effect it will have on the world.
  3. According to IBM’s Chief Technology Officer, cloud computing reduces IT labour costs by 50%. When a cloud system is implemented into a business, the majority of the IT responsibility is shifted across to the providers. Therefore all software updates and technical issues no longer have to be addressed individually.
  4. Cloud computing can save small business energy costs by 90%. This is an increasingly popular incentive for businesses to adopt a cloud system.  Not only does it reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but you can also increase your CSR credentials. It’s a win/win all round.
  5. 82% of small businesses say it’s important to buy cloud computing from a company with local reach. At Netmetix we offer the chance for businesses to visit our data centre site for their own piece of mind. We find that customers are generally happier when they know their cloud provider is local. It adds the “human” element rather than dealing with a large faceless corporation that focuses on volume business rather than quality of service.
  6. 58% agree that being on the cloud has given them better control of their data. Being able to access your company’s data and IT systems whenever and wherever you want means that you are always in control of what is happening in your business.
  7. 41% of profit-focused small business owners plan to invest in the cloud by 2014. It is evident that small businesses are recognising the benefits of cloud computing as the uptake is constantly increasing.  Companies are recognising the value and benefit of Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service, which dispense with the need for expensive capital equipment and costly installation and upgrades of software.
  8. Industry use of Cloud Computing:  Financial Services 63%,  Manufacturing 62%,  Healthcare 59%,  Transportation 51% 
    Four main industries are predominantly using cloud platforms already for their business. This illustrates the continuity in demand for such a system.
  9. 50% agree that business agility is the primary reason for adopting cloud applications. The fact that cloud offers elasticity and complete flexibility of service to companies, means that business operations can be carried out far more efficiently.
  10. 72% of organisations using private cloud servers have improved end-user experience. We have found that cloud creates a more productive and engaging working environment for employees, leading to higher levels of motivation and performance. 

Take our Poll and let us know how you feel about cloud computing.  Is it something you have experience of already?  Or are you looking to move your business IT to the cloud in the near future?  

Cloudmetix offers you all the benefits of cloud computing and more.  We would love to give you a free demonstration, or why not try it for yourself using our 30-day no obligation trial. 

You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain through business process improvements. 

Call us today or visit our website: http://www.cloudmetix.net