Cloud Computing and business-oriented risk analysis: A match made in heaven?


With any perceived advantage comes some form of risk, right?  Sometimes these risks are negligible, sort of like speed-bumps. Other times however, certain business-related risks can be quite damaging if not properly prepared for. These days, a large percentage of “assumed risk” for businesses is directly related to computing and IT. Given that it is an organization’s IT infrastructure that enables many/most business transactions to take place (and also facilitates actual work in most cases), it’s easy to see why there would be risk in the event of these systems going down. Likewise, there are a number of other areas (not related to computing) that organizations need to account for when it comes to risk analysis. The great thing about cloud computing is that it can help businesses deal with both IT-related risks as well as calculate and/or compile data about risks in other areas. In other words, cloud computing can be leveraged to help a company prepare for risks and conduct risk-assessment in a much more cost-effective manner.  

Cloud Computing for IT, Network & Infrastructure Risk Avoidance Cloud Computing and business-oriented
Quite simply, there are a number of ways that cloud computing can provide a hedge against potential risks. For starters, nearly every individual component of a cloud can be easily copied; for example, if your business relies on a nest of applications or programs which are critical to daily operations (they can be copied / stored off-site). Additionally, cloud computing can incorporate a sophisticated form of continuous data backups which ensures that “in the event of a disaster” all records, data, settings, user profiles, customer orders, etc…can be safely stored away in a remote location. Simply put, cloud computing gives businesses the ability to ensure daily preparation for complete system breakdowns and catastrophes; which is really significant when you think about it.  

Backups aren’t the only thing that cloud computing has going for it however. Because clouds are typically designed to use power and resources in a more efficient manner, they are more-or-less designed to facilitate a company’s overall business plan / model. Given that a company’s accounting department has to calculate items like annual energy usage into their budget, any system that can potentially lower these types of costs is in effect, a form of risk avoidance and/or management. Most major cloud computing providers have already addressed most risks associated with the use of their infrastructures. Realizing this, more and more businesses are turning to the cloud so that they can concentrate on weaker areas.

Using Cloud Computing to Assist in Risk Management Assessment
Moreover, for those institutions which already have a cloud computing infrastructure at their disposal, it should be noted that it can be used to carry out a better company-wide risk assessment. Aside from the ability to carry out a barrage of risk-related tests, clouds can also assist in data collection, aggregation, and calculation. For example, automated testing (and data analysis) can be carried out on a regular basis replete with detailed reports; this information can then be used to determine the best course(s) of action in terms of long- and short-term risks.

The biggest cloud computing risk might be a delayed or careless adoption
The total number of businesses which are adopting cloud computing continues to rise. In fact, we’re probably approaching the 50% mark when you look at the global scale. It could be argued that the big risks for most businesses (out there right now) is the speed and manner in which they transition over to cloud computing. Whether we’re talking about a transition that’s too slow or a cloud adoption plan that’s too sloppy, organizations need to take great care in how and when they jump into cloud computing.

A great way to prepare for a cloud transition (as well as strengthen your entire organization) is to place emphasis on cloud computing certification & training. Through proper education your IT department and employees will not only be able to better utilize cloud systems, they will be able to use them to arrive at more efficient uses for this technology.

At the same time that your organization is preparing for internal issues and malicious attacks, your competitors are likely exploring new ways to harness the power of cloud computing. While this isn’t necessarily seen as a “risk’ in a traditional sense, failing to match the abilities of one’s competition will have the same effect as losing functionality in some ways. Whether your business runs into operational issues or your competitor uses their newfound technological know-how to steal some of your clientele, the end result is the same; you encounter losses and additional risks. So, what’s the solution, you ask? In order to effectively manage all current / future risks and hedge against competition arising through emerging technologies, it is advised that you get on a fast track toward cloud computing adoption.

Perhaps the best and simplest way of describing the relationship between risk analysis and cloud computing is to say that they can be mutually beneficial. In other words, if a business is engaging in risk analysis, cloud computing can assist in this process. Likewise, if an organization has a cloud computing infrastructure at their disposal they can ensure lower levels of overall risk. One reinforces the other and vice-versa. The question is, does your company’s lack of motivation for adopting cloud computing highlight some additional risk(s)?

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