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The rise of cloud-based software has left businesses vulnerable

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Cloud-based software has allowed businesses to remain operational during a period of extreme uncertainty, but reliance on these platforms is exposing companies to risk, new research suggests.

According to a report from business communications provider StarLeaf, based on a survey of 2,000 UK-based employers, almost all companies (95 percent) have increased their use of cloud-based communications apps “exponentially” since the start of the pandemic. 

Should they lose access to these tools, however, more than half (57 percent) would be unable to operate for more than an hour, while a quarter (27 percent) of firms would grind to a halt within 30 minutes. 

Despite these obvious risks, just a third (32 percent) have an insurance policy in place. For StarLeaf, the most effective insurance would be to have a backup service on standby, one that could be turned on with the press of a button. 

Instead, a quarter said their backup method includes personal chat apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc.), which are rarely compliant with company policies and don’t provide instantaneous meetings failover services. 

At the same time, the respondents understand the potential consequences. Just three percent believe an outage would have no material impact on commercial performance. 

“The sheer pace of digital transformation over the last two years - in particular the rapid, and in some cases overnight, adoption of virtual communications tools, is the reason for this liability oversight. As we look ahead to 2022, businesses need to ensure they have a failover system so they can continue to operate, no matter what happens to their comms platform,” said Mark Richer, CEO and founder at StarLeaf.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.