Pinching Pennies & Cutting Costs through the Cloud

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013

CIOs and IT teams are familiar with the cost savings that cloud storage and sync services have to offer. But without a system-wide switch to a thoroughly investigated and approved cloud service provider, enterprises of all sizes are left with a hodgepodge of clouds. This often amounts to dangerous and anarchic storage and sync situations, in which different departments, staff, and personnel, utilize different cloud services for different purposes. Networks are left vulnerable and sometimes, private data gets stored in plaintext, making it an easy target for even the most novice hackers. With infrastructure, software, and security offered through various cloud services, not having a standard service could result in security breaches that halt production and ruin brands.

Cutting Costs with the Cloud

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For many enterprises and businesses, cost savings have been the primary driver to the cloud. But to maximize the benefits of the cloud while cutting costs and securing sensitive corporate data, enterprises should plan out a system wide switch to a private cloud service provider that offers data anonymity, zero-knowledge backup, and support. This way, IT departments can help maintain best practices onsite while HR teams can ensure compliance across the network. Through a consolidated private cloud service enterprises can retain control over their data, CIOs can keep tabs on usage and CFOs can manage departmental costs while keeping a centralized financial plan.

Cloud Benefits

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The promise of cost savings has even attracted the attention of the Australian government, with officials considering making a governmental switch to the cloud, similar to the one currently taking place in U.S. governmental organizations. After seeing the benefits of cloud computing in person, Australian Treasury Chief Information Officer Peter Alexander has spearheaded efforts to move organizations and governmental data to the cloud. Savings run the gamut from reduced staffing needs to increased office space due to freed server space. And it’s not just enterprises that are leveraging the cost savings of the cloud, as more and more manufacturers realize the benefits the cloud has to offer.

According to Senior Manager for Microsoft Enterprise Systems, Louis Columbus, cloud systems are attracting manufacturers through enabling personalization, customization, and faster rollout. The constant demand for better and faster production has driven many manufacturing sectors to the cloud including defense industries, industrial industries, aerospace, and tech companies. Cloud services enable a mobile workforce, allow for strong and secure collaboration across networks, and streamline customer service. Another way the cloud can help most businesses, manufacturers, and enterprises is through cloud-based enterprise resource planning. According to Principal Matt Haller of Tilly Virchow Krause, in-house ERP systems “have been cumbersome, required expensive on-site specialized IT resources to run and maintain the system, and have not provided quick access to the necessary information to inform decision making.” Through utilizing cloud-based ERP, enterprises can protect and streamline their resources and data.

Cloud-Based Savings

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Another way the cloud can save enterprises money is by cutting energy costs. According to a six-month long study commissioned by Google and conducted by scientists at both Northwestern University and the Lawrence Berkeley national Laboratory, cloud utilization can save upwards of 23 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Onsite servers and data center infrastructure commonly leads to underutilized resources and power waste. Moving the most commonly used applications like customer relationship management (CRM), productivity software, and email from in-house IT-managed system to cloud solutions could reduce energy consumption by up to 87%. But unless a cloud service can provide data privacy and user anonymity, sensitive data could be breached.

Protecting Your Savings

Finding a truly protected third party cloud service can be a challenge as many “secure” services on the market have security gaps that leave private corporate and consumer data wide open to third party attacks and even governmental spying, given the recent NSA PRISM scandal. One cloud storage and sync service that sets itself apart from the rest of the market is SpiderOak Blue. This service provides enterprises with fully private cloud storage and sync, featuring all of the benefits of the cloud along with 100% data privacy. SpiderOak Blue is available with onsite deployment and private servers or outsourced deployment through a private and secured public cloud server.

SpiderOak protects sensitive enterprise data with 256-bit AES encryption so that files and passwords stay private. Authorized accounts and network devices can store and sync sensitive data with complete privacy, because this cloud service has absolutely “zero-knowledge” of user passwords or data. And all plaintext encryption keys are exclusively stored on approved devices because SpiderOak never hosts any plaintext data. This way, even if programs like NSA’s PRISM continue unchanged, consumers can rest easy knowing that their data is truly protected and brands can gain diehard customer loyalty by publically securing consumer information. SpiderOak Blue’s cross-platform private cloud services are available for enterprises on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices.

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