For most of us, the cloud permeates everyday life. It's not a matter of if we're in the cloud, but rather how much of us is. This year will be what Computer Weekly's Bryan Glick calls "The Year of the Cloud." Recently, Forbes contributor Sarah Chapman attempted an experiment where she tried to live cloud-free for a week. To say it was not an easy week would be an understatement. From having to pay for gas with $2 in cash to not being able to complete basic job tasks, Chapman found out firsthand how fully our daily activities are integrated within the cloud. The cloud is not a choice – it's a fact of life. For this reason, choosing a cloud service provider that meets your needs is one of the most important decisions you can make.

Public cloud vulnerabilities      
Anyone who has privileged data that they want to keep safe and accessible is advised to steer clear of the public cloud. As Dave Jeffers points out in an article for PCWorld, the public cloud has some insecurities. Because of its open nature, it provides an easy access point for hackers to infiltrate. For this reason, the public cloud is quickly becoming a source of grief for company CIOs who want to ensure the digital security of their information. According to a recent survey of CIOs, 69% of the sample group said they're worried about security, which represented the single greatest concern among respondents.{You might want to soften up the language in this paragraph and go for more of a "consider the risks of the public cloud" approach.}

Their fear is not unfounded. Indeed, a recent outage at a public cloud provider illustrated the inherent vulnerabilities of the public cloud. The popular public cloud service recently went down for three hours, the result of an internal mistake during routine site maintenance. The outage was a wakeup call for users who believed their information was unequivocally safe in the public cloud. 

Charles Weaver, a cloud executive, told CIO Today contributor Jennifer LeClaire that the such concerns aren't an issue in the private cloud.

"When private cloud providers have outages, their customers usually have a better sense of accountability about what their cloud provider is doing and who is managing their data," he said.   

CIOs are being forced to strategize and come up with the best digital solutions as company information begins to ascend into the cloud. Fortunately, the enterprise cloud provides a much safer alternative for storing data digitally. 

Private cloud solutions
The enterprise cloud is the perfect merging of cloud mobility with the security of a hard drive. It's no wonder that businesses are taking to the private cloud in droves in order to securely handle their storage needs. Indeed, it is so safe that even hospitals are entrusting it with their data.

According to Kirk Larson, CIO of Children's Hospital Central California, the private cloud provides the storage space he needs without compromising security of highly privileged information. Larson said he has such faith in the private cloud that he's looking to transfer even more hospital data there.

"My expectation is that we will continue to build in the cloud, and over time we will look at appropriate opportunities, where we can move things to the cloud," he told Healthcare Informatics.