A prime concern with companies contemplating the move to a cloud CRM solution is: will my data be safe? With data being potentially stored off-shore, potential data ownership issues, and even concerns over safely transferring data, it certainly isn’t a minor issue. But as with other cloud CRM concerns we’ve been addressing in this series, it can be seen that as long as you do your research and make sure to clarify certain aspects of your cloud CRM service agreement, these concerns can be alleviated with relative ease.
Transfer of Existing Data
Transfer of existing data full and intact to a cloud computing platform would, of course, be a prime concern. After all, you’re making the move to the cloud for more convenient, faster and more cost-effective access. Those benefits obviously won’t materialize if your data won’t be fully available once the transfer is made.
Fortunately, this is rarely an issue; a competent cloud CRM provider is going to have most data formats already figured out so that your data is easily and rapidly moved to the cloud. This concern should be one of the first addressed when considering various cloud providers, so just make sure you do.
Data Ownership Issues
There is a multitude of legal protections for companies and consumers both within our country and internationally that are not lost because you are operating in the cloud. In the last several year’s data ownership issues have made headlines a few times—but these have consisted of attempts by social media platforms to highjack private consumer information for purposes of advertising. And even they had to back down from the consumer backlash.
Unless you were to specifically transfer ownership in your cloud CRM service agreement (which would be very unlikely to happen), you totally own your data. Additionally, cloud service providers are in the business of providing adequate protections and ____cloud security___ for the purpose of obtaining and retaining your business. A primary concern, probably the primary concern for any company is and will continue to be data security, both for the protection of corporate assets and the vitally important matter of consumer data protection. While a cloud service provider is most assuredly going to go to extremes in securing both corporate and consumer data in order to acquire and keep corporate customers, obtaining professional legal review and advice on any contractual agreement is always in your best interests.
Unknown Risks of Off-Shore Data Storage
This concern comes into play when data might be stored in countries where foreign governments, under local law, may have access to data kept within their countries.
In that any company would have such a concern, however, and that no company is going to want to expose itself to such risks, a reputable cloud provider would have already taken such an eventuality into account. Assure yourself by getting specifics from your cloud provider as to where your data might be stored, and making any extra provisions for your data where they might be warranted.
Affect of Cloud CRM on Business Performance or Methodology
There might be a concern over a move to the cloud affecting your business methodology, sales process or conduct. With data in a different location, what will that mean for sales reps, prospects and clients accessing it? What impact will it have on your web traffic?
To assuage any such concern, you only have to realize that the location of your data is totally behind the scenes. Your sales reps—or for that matter your prospects and clients—don’t actually have any consideration about where the data is stored, only that they can quickly access and act upon it, and conduct “business as usual.”
In the case of a small to medium business (SMB), the only effect of cloud CRM on your business performance is going to be a positive one. The speed of access and saving of data, and speed of transactions is likely going to be greatly improved – improving your overall sales process also. And in the case of cloud CRM solutions, there will most likely be a marked improvement in sales velocity and a new level of support for your sales force.
So is your data safe in a cloud CRM? The answer is a resounding “yes”—with a lot more positive ramifications besides.
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