Last September, it was reported by TMZ that Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande and Katie Upton among others were victims of an online hack. The hacker named 4chan somehow got possession of more than 60 nude images of the celebrities. All hacked celebrities were utilizing cloud computing to store the images.

Just this week, we were surprised to learn that not many Canadian C-Level executives know what cloud computing is and new studies are showing they are worried that it’s not a safe way to store important company information.

A new study done by a market research firm named Northstar for Microsoft Canada found that only 10% of the 476 Canadian executives surveyed said they were familiar with cloud computing. 45% of those that were familiar with the term knew how to correctly define it.

cloud computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing can be defined as a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications.

Perhaps the best example of cloud computing, which does not strike people as “cloud computing” at first glance, is social networking websites (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+,  Twitter). The main idea of social networking is to find people you already know or people you would like to know and share your personal and/or professional information with them. Of course, when you share your information with these people, you’re also sharing it with the people who run the service.

The Benefit of Cloud Computing

Microsoft strongly believes that businesses could save money by running programs in the cloud and they can make starting a business more affordable, since many services are pay-as-you-go.

There indeed are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud:

  • Moving to cloud computer can reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
  • Your business can scale up and down your operation and storage needs quickly to suit your situation and needs, allowing flexibility as your needs change.
  • Having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location.
  • Access to automatic updates. Depending on your cloud computing service provider, your system will regularly be updated with the latest technology

Unfortunately, a large number of Canadian businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises, are fearful of the cloud. The Microsoft study found that 45 per cent of respondents think storing their company’s information in the cloud would be unsafe. What they don’t already realize is that they’re already using cloud-based services. As well many company CIOs have more cloud services in their IT departments than they realize.