Cloud computing has revolutionized the way that biotech startups are thinking about IT. Having the ability to store data, applications, and security safeguards off-site makes the process of managing technology easier for all companies. Cloud solutions are changing the ways that startups set up their IT infrastructure, and also the way that established companies prepare for the challenges of the future.
Moving your data to the cloud presents exciting opportunities, but it is important to embrace the technology in a careful, measured way. Haphazardly moving all of your company’s information onto cloud-based networks can create as many problems as it solves. In order to get the most out of this exciting new technology, be sure to keep the following considerations in mind.
Finding Storage Scalability in the Cloud
In the old days, when all data storage had to take place on-site, it was a major challenge to anticipate storage needs and grow or shrink them as a company’s circumstances and need evolved. Since cloud computing allows you to store all of your experimental and administrative data off-site, you don’t need to worry about having adequate storage at your physical location.
Even more exciting with cloud services is that you can scale your storage capacity almost instantly. If you suddenly need to store a terabyte of new information, your available space can easily be increased by contacting your cloud service provider. That means that information will never be lost or disorganized because you didn’t have the space to store it properly. And in today’s world of “big data,” storage capacity has to be a serious part of your data security system.
Backing up Data with Cloud Services
Much like storage, data backup used to occur entirely on site. This process was time and labor intensive, and provided only a limited amount of security. Cloud computing allows you to send all of your data backups over the internet so that they are stored in a secure, off-site location. No matter what is happening at your laboratory, all the data you have produced is safe.
Your IT service provider can even show you ways to back up your entire IT infrastructure by using cloud solutions. That means that you can run your entire operation off-site if necessary. Power losses, damaged equipment, and natural disasters never have to be an interruption when the core of your operation is protected by an IT security solution.
Information Security in the Cloud
Biotech startups who choose to use the cloud need to be aware of the vulnerabilities it exposes them to. Remote storage has many advantages, but it also means that you no longer have total control over the flow of your data. Sending information over the internet exposes it to threats, and anyone at your cloud service provider with administrative privileges potentially has access to it.
Be conscious of what you are storing in the cloud and selective about who you give final access to. The best way to protect yourself from the threat of hackers, viruses, and negligence is to identify your most crucial data and limit the ways in which it is distributed.
Your IT provider can show you effective ways to maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks of cloud computing. Relying on your provider’s expertise can help you avoid making common mistakes and oversights.
To learn more about what cloud computing can do for your biotech startup, read our white paper “After the Seed: Planning IT Investment for a Biotech Startup.”