Cloud Computing is the next step up in the growing functionality of the internet, providing the means through which everything — from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration — can be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need (providing you have an internet connection of course).
As with any new technology, with the benefits comes new challenges and risks. If your business is moving towards a cloud system as opposed to an on site server based system, you need to take a look at the risks that come with it and build some controls into your document control processes.
When looking into a cloud system you should really assess the following risks and ask a lot of questions from your potential cloud provider such as:
1. Where will the information be stored? Some countries may have differing views on privacy
2. What is the backup and recovery process if something goes wrong?
3. How viable is the cloud provider ie. will they still be around in 2 years? What will happen to your data if they go bust?
4. How is the data encrypted? The cloud provider should provide evidence that encryption schemes were designed and tested by experienced specialists.
As long as you do your homework and revise your processes, cloud computing can be a great tool.