Our always on, always connected world has fundamentally changed how businesses operate. Communicating with customers and employees will never be the same again.

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    Cloud solutions bring many benefits by making things easier for businesses, and it’s happening whether we like it or not.

    But many businesses trust the cloud blindly without proper consideration for the challenges and deeper issues at hand.

    The added convenience of cloud applications also comes with a potential downside, such as potential security threats and surrender of control.

    Many people are familiar with the acronym “IoT”, and we understand it to mean the Internet of Things. This is a catch-all term for our world of cloud based information and smart connected devices.

    I believe there’s another meaning for these three letters – “Illusion of Trust”.

    I call it the Illusion of Trust because business owners don’t realise that cloud security is an issue.

    The reality is that, through their T’s and C’s, cloud providers are limiting their responsibility for the data they create and manage. This means that interruptions to service or changes of policy can leave businesses in trouble. As we hand the control, we need to consider the trust – just as we do we with employees.

    No so long ago, Facebook experienced a software flaw due to a seemingly simple error that cascaded into a much larger problem causing an major outage that lasted five hours.

    I personally know a number of businesses impacted by this outage.  It was unplanned, unscheduled and hugely inconvenient for the many thousands that rely on Facebook as a business tool.

    Businesses around the globe trust Facebook to deliver – all the time. The same goes for other cloud-based services that millions of businesses rely on.

    The following line is from the terms and conditions of a well-known cloud storage provider:

    [st_quote template="B1" quote="We may add or remove functionalities or features, and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether" author="" link=""]

    These T’s and C’s are not unusual. There are thousands of providers out there and many do not take any responsibility for losing data, for changing or suspending service, or for any outages that may occur.

    Traditionally, if your employees suddenly decided to take five unscheduled hours off you’d be able to take action, wouldn’t you?  This is within your control.

    But when you adopt cloud solutions, you forgo that control in return for added convenience and cost efficiencies.

    Businesses are still too eager to hand over their vital services and data to cloud providers. They are placing blind trust in a system that is not entirely reliable. Instead, I believe that cloud providers should have to win the trust of businesses before they take control over important business elements.

    After all, who we trust with our data and our livelihood is now one of the most important business decisions we can make as businesspeople.

    I hope, over the next few years, that we witness an evolution in cloud services that focuses on transparency, flexibility and reliability.

    Trust is something that should be earned and not granted unconditionally at the onset.