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Managing cloud services risks

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As cloud services become more available, many small businesses are signing on, despite the potential risks. However, according to Computer World, business owners can take certain steps to help reduce the risks or manage any resulting problems should something harmful occur with their stored data.

The source recommends having a backup plan, should the cloud where the company stores its data fail temporarily or permanently. The business may benefit from having a plan even before moving data to a cloud environment, as waiting may be an unwise decision, should something go wrong early in the data transfer process.

That plan should also be tested, the source advises, in order to ensure it would be successful in the event of a failure.

"The cloud is the perfect place to test failures in a completely staged environment," says Donald Flood, vice president of engineering for advertising network provider Bizo. "You can easily create a staged environment that mirrors production and test your systems by killing running services and evaluating how your system performs under failure."

Additionally, maintaining in-house IT employees may be wise, despite the lower expense in personnel being one of the attractive points of cloud computing, the source says.

Though these recommendations may help mitigate problems for the company, it may be wise to have an errors and omissions insurance policy, in the event that cloud difficulties inhibit a company's ability to provide services to clients.

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