Company Docs in the Cloud: The Risks and Rewards

BLOG: The momentum is great, but so is the price if you get it wrong.

DropBox, GoogleDocs, Microsoft Office 365, SkyDox … the field of companies urging you to put your documents in the cloud is growing by the minute. Appealing as this concept might seem, CFOs and IT teams have to take a step back and evaluate the benefits and risks.

The pros for a cloud-based strategy, through which corporate users access their data in the cloud, are easily enumerated:

  1. Less in-house infrastructure to procure, configure, deploy, manage and maintain.
  2. Data is available regardless of desktop or mobile platform.
  3. Placing data in a central location, in some cases, promotes collaboration.

Costs are predictable as they are based on monthly or yearly per-user subscription fees. 

Sounds fabulous, right? The problem with these services comes when users are encouraged or allowed to sign up for them individually. Suddenly, their data is siloed in the cloud, and if the employee leaves or is terminated, you have no access to it. Also, if you are subject to an audit that requires review of the content posted to the cloud, getting to it will require employee cooperation.

If you decide to go with a cloud-based management service for your documents, there are several things you must do first.