Kati Unplugged: What’s Safer—On-Premise Or Cloud?

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A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.

Kati color 2004Are you finding security is a concern among prospects considering cloud-based solutions? A recent global study of business and technology leaders by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that, although 85% said their organizations will be using cloud tools moderately to extensively over the next three years, concerns over security are cited as the #1 risk of cloud computing.* This week Microsoft Dynamics Partner Technology Advisor Dan Youngers offers his perspective on this important issue.


Partners are seeing a lot of customers and prospective customers who are concerned about giving up control of their servers and their data when considering cloud solutions. Many of these customers don’t fully understand the risks and pressures of keeping the data on-premise. It’s critical for businesses to examine the level of security of their data centers today—in terms of both physical security and data security—so they can make an informed decision. These are important issues to discussion in your sales conversations.

First, businesses should evaluate the physical security of their on-premise servers:

  • Where are they located and who has access to the servers? Could a disgruntled employee plug in a hard drive and copy the data?
  • How well is your data center secured against theft? Do you have security personnel on duty 24/7, 365 days/year? In today’s world, consider that a jealous competitor you are undercutting might actually break in and steal or vandalize your servers!
  • How protected is data center against fire? Do you have a chemical flame-retardant system that surrounds the server environment?

Then there are issues of data and intellectual property security. Can your customer’s businesses data center meet and maintain American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) SAS 70 and SAS 72 compliance standards for data centers? There are now three types of Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting required, including reports on financials, processing integrity, privacy, security and trust services (partnering) criteria compliance. Just meeting these compliance requirements can be difficult to maintain for most businesses.

By engaging a reputable, established cloud services provider set up to handle these challenges, businesses can rest assured that their data is more secure than if kept on-premise. Most data centers provide a secure, compliant environment—they simply have too much to lose if they don’t.

To learn more about how to incorporate cloud-based solutions into your business plans visit the Microsoft Dynamics Countdown to the Cloud page on PartnerSource. Go to www.microsoft.com/dynamics/growyourbusiness for resources that demonstrate to customers how Microsoft Dynamics ERP cloud, hybrid and on-premise solutions can benefit their businesses.

*Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, “How the Cloud Looks from the Top: Achieving Competitive Advantage In the Age of Cloud Computing,” 2011 (Microsoft-sponsored study)

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