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Cloud computing for business – Business Queensland

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From internet banking to deploying your own software for your customers, cloud computing comes with significant benefits, but also some business risks.
Cloud computing has 3 main elements.
Cloud-based software refers to computer programs that use the internet to deliver digital tools and store documents, records, digital assets and data on remote servers or computers in data centres. It is often referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS).
Cloud-based infrastructure refers to remote computers or data centres that you are able to use for computing, storage, and networking on demand, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Cloud-based platforms refers to complete development and deployment environment. It is typically used to build, test, deploy, manage and update software that is written for your business. These platforms are typically based in remote data centres.
Cloud-based software refers to programs accessible via any internet-connected device like a computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
Cloud-based software is an alternative to loading software on your computer and saving information and documents to your computer as local files, or as files saved on hard drives, or as a backup.
Common business software provided using this model typically requires a subscription and is accessed via the internet with an ID and password.
In recent years, cloud-based software has become the preferred method for many software companies to sell software as a service to business and personal customers.
Cloud-based infrastructure describes hardware, resources, storage, and network resources. In order for your business to host services and applications in the cloud, you need cloud infrastructure.
Cloud-based platforms enable large enterprise businesses to build, test and deploy applications, and store, back up, and recover data.
Types of cloud-based platforms include:
Handing over your data to any cloud-based service entails a level of risk.
This risk increases if you choose to use offshore vendors. The Australian Security Cyber Centre (ASCC) recommends not outsourcing information technology to providers outside of Australia.
Even if the overseas vendor has an Australian-based facility, it is important to note that foreign-owned vendors operating in Australia may be required by their government to provide access to data held by the provider.
This is because their government’s laws are not under Australian jurisdiction.
For more information visit the ASCC’s cloud computing security considerations.
Key areas to consider when choosing a provider are:
For many small businesses, using existing cloud-based software will meet many business needs.
For businesses with needs beyond cloud-based software, IT solutions may involve cloud-based infrastructure or platforms.
Once a suitable provider has been identified, a contract including a service level agreement is recommended.
Consider including provision for:
Discuss your needs with your IT, business, and legal advisers to ensure the contract protects your business.
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