Financial Information on the Cloud: Considering the Role of Trust

Cloud computing is the latest buzz word. Many companies are adopting this convenient, on-demand service to enable themselves to save the costs involved in establishing computing infrastructure such as hard drives, development platforms, databases, computing power, or complete software applications.

Whether you are using public cloud, private cloud, virtual private cloud and/or hybrid cloud for your organization, cloud computing focuses on core business processes and offers greater efficiency by allowing data center upkeep and maintenance to be managed offsite. Cloud computing is certainly an alternative technology to get the job done in with less money.

Cloud computing has penetrated each and every department of any organization including human resources, maintenance/operations, marketing, product development, IT (maybe), logistics (if shipping/movement of items), customer service (if needed)/product support, and legal (if a large corporation).

Till now, the finance/accounting department of any organization was not touched by cloud computing, but how accountancy software player Sage has launched its first payroll system available in the cloud. The web-based Sage One Payroll system was developed by Sage’s Dublin R&D team. Sage One Payroll system is suitable for companies with 15 or fewer employees and for management with no specialized payroll knowledge or IT skills.

In this dot-com boom, cloud computing has proved to be the hottest ideas and nobody can deny the advantages of it. But, do you think, sensitive financial information should reside on the Internet? Don’t you think ubiquitous access to data would make it more prone to theft? For small business owners, financial information is very sensitive data. So, before putting your most sensitive data in the cloud, you need to be sure that you are keeping your most valuable data on the cloud. I’m glad to see people exploring this aspect of the cloud. However, if you don’t mind putting financial information on cloud, you should consider the below mentioned points:
• Does the security protocals of the cloud solution provider as tight as yours?
• Who owns the data, and how can you get your data back should you decide to terminate the contract?
• What happens to your data cloud provider company goes out of business?
• “Get your IT security people involved as they are expert and they will be able to tell you how secure your data is on the cloud. ”



About Mandira Srivastava

Mandira Srivastava is based in Bangalore, India. Equipped with mass communication degree, she started her career as editor-coordinator at Vadamalia media. She is a professional writer with over 4 years of experience and specializes in article writing, article rewriting and custom content development for websites & blogs.

  • Anonymous

    You bring up some great points here, Mandira. For any cloud solution, small businesses must research and vet the security standards of the provider. In addition to the tips you offer, I’d add get a feel for the provider’s storage reputation, the number and location of their data centers and availability of their infrastructure. Also, one of the best ways to ensure good service is with solid Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with clear contractual language. Look for vendors who publish their performance and have clear financial penalties for underperformance. A colleague of mine at Symantec, posted these tips for SMBs to consider when choosing a cloud provider that your readers may find useful:

    • Ramon Ray

      thanks Daren for the added information

    • Tony Bradley

      The tips in the referenced blog post are good. I would add that you should never fully trust the cloud, though.

      I don’t care how secure a provider seems, or how solid their redundancy and backup plan sounds, I would always encrypt my own data with a key that I control, and I would always backup my data– either locally, or to some other cloud-based destination, so that I know I will have access no matter what happens to the cloud service provider.

      As this article describes (, protecting your business data is basically something that can’t be outsourced.