Digital Transformation

Future of the cloud could be back-up as well as data storage, says expert

The way businesses use the cloud is shaped by their security policy.

Cloud uptake is set to continue to gather apace this year, and with HM Revenues & Customs announcing plans to migrate sensitive data to the cloud this week it’s likely more major corporations and government departments will soon follow suit.

But despite HMRC’s decision acting as a statement of intent that proves the security capabilities of the cloud, some companies are still reluctant to manage their records storage exclusively online.

However, according to My Wealth Cloud chief operating officer Chris Willford, there is still a role the cloud can play in these companies’ document management plans – and that’s by backing up files, rather than storing them exclusively in the cloud, online.

"It’s likely that cloud computing will become the norm in personal and general business computing," said the expert.

"For the foreseeable future, there will also be a sizeable constituency of users who either reject the cloud – and internet-based applications generally – or wish to combine conventional storage with cloud computing for risk management reasons, including business continuity and disaster recovery."

But while the security of the hardware and software involved in cloud networks is no longer a concern, a recent report from UK privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned that data could be at risk due to businesses being unfamiliar with the data protection laws necessary to keep sensitive information secure.

"As a business, you are responsible for keeping your data safe," said ICO technology policy advisor Dr Simon Rice. "You can outsource some of the processing of that data, as happens with cloud computing, but how that data is used and protected remains your responsibility."

As a result the ICO has issued a number of privacy guidelines for companies to adhere to as they go about storing and working with data in the cloud.