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Cloud computing entails risks, as it requires users to relinquish absolute control of their data, trusting a service provider to protect documents they once controlled directly on local PCs or other storage devices. With cloud computing, the documents and resources that were once stored in the office are now stored externally, and are managed and protected by another company. You need to be confident that your chosen cloud service provider has taken all necessary steps to ensure the privacy and security of your data (e.g. by using encryption and enforcing 'strong' passwords).

Data or services in the cloud are only accessible via an internet connection. This means that if you are thinking about using a cloud service you will need a fast, reliable internet connection. You will also need to think about the additional costs for increased data uploads and downloads (see Module 1).

If the data or programs you have in the cloud are vital to your business, and access is required 24×7, you should consider having an alternative or backup means of connection to the service (e.g. by a pre-paid mobile broadband package).

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