Software as a Service (SaaS) is a form of cloud computing; almost everybody uses it daily. Yet people still regularly have doubts about this kind of software when purchasing a new package. Why does this doubt occur if we already use this so much and the worldwide use continues to grow? Therefore I will address a number of questions (with the answers!) that can help you in the quest that is called Cloud Computing.

Where are my details stored?

The files and the information that belongs to them are stored in a Datacentre. Datacentres are specialised in the storage of data and take all necessary amenities. Check therefore prior to entering a contract with which datacentre and service provider you are dealing, which measures they take and which certification they have in their possession. I-FourC collaborates with Equinix TeleCity in Amsterdam.

How safe is Cloud Computing anyway?

Again, check whether the partner with whom you want to collaborate possesses the right certification. ISO 27001 (information security) is incredibly important here. One tip is to talk with the Security Officer about what is done concerning digital security and the encryption of data. Find out if the taken organisational and technical measures are also periodically assessed and, where necessary, adjusted. At I-FourC for example, we collaborate with renowned security firms; they periodically try to ‘ethically’ hack our software, so that eventual vulnerabilities are identified in time. Nobody can give a 100% guarantee, but you definitely cannot do this yourself if you work in a paper oriented workplace. It has to at least be clear that every effort is being made to take the highest achievable security measures.

What is really the major advantage of working in the cloud?

Regardless of the improvements on information security, it really is a great advantage that you can work wherever you are and whenever you want. This offers chances and an increase in efficiency and productivity. It can control precisely who has access to which information. Additionally, it saves a lot of work that all updates are carried out remotely and automatically, you always have the latest version, have no internal costs for servers and can easily up- and downscale. This allows IT administrators to focus on other important tasks within the organisation.

Am I always dependent on an internet connection?

For the use of a cloud-service you are dependent on an internet connection. After all, you get access by simply going to a URL and logging in there.  So yes, internet is a prerequisite to using software in the cloud. At I-FourC we have developed an iPad app, with which it is possible to access the information without internet. It is important that a file bundle is set up, which you can take to a location without internet access on your iPad. As soon as an internet connection is available again, the changes that were made in the meantime will automatically be synchronised to your ‘digital archive.’

Will I come into contact with unexpected costs?

In the area of IT you can actually save costs. This is mainly due to the fact that your IT department no longer has purchasing costs for hardware, no maintenance needs to be carried out and no updates have to be implemented. Unexpected costs are no longer on the agenda, you will after all be relieved of your duties in these areas. The use of a cloud-service is actually very fair. You pay for actual use and the number of gigabytes of storage capacity you need. So the more users, the more you pay.

Do you have any additional questions about working in the cloud? Please contact Maurice Sanders, our Security Officer!

Gemeente Venray Maasziekenhuis Pantein Reade GGD Twente

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