When considering moving to the Cloud, you must assess your own business needs.
Does investing in hardware, such as a new server, make more sense than paying to host your software applications and data on a Cloud service provider’s equipment? Do you have staff who need remote access to company applications and documents? In order to get the “right Cloud” for your business, it‘s important to articulate what you need, and what you are looking for.
The following are some of the benefits businesses cite for moving to the Cloud:
Streamlined Implementation: ‘SaaS’ (Software as a Service), can be set up quickly; much faster than traditional software installations and implementation, so you and your employees can be up and running in a few hours, and sometimes in minutes.
Predictable Expenses: Since the Cloud is based on sharing resources, there is an efficiency that can’t be denied in most cases, and the costs for these shared services are generally more economical. However, be sure to inquire about additional fees resulting from increased storage used, adding users, etc. If you don’t, you may get “sticker shock” in future years.
Leveling the Competitive Playing Field: The Cloud gives smaller companies the opportunity to utilize the same technology resources that larger companies use, making access to software platforms and infrastructure support accessible and not cost prohibitive for small companies, so they can compete toe-to-toe with larger companies.
Ease of IT Administration: When you use a reputable Cloud service provider, you will get automatic software updates, system upgrades, backups, and other services. NOTE: Just make sure you have someone, or an outsourced IT team that can oversee and handle the project management of the Cloud service provider.
Communication and Collaboration Anytime, Anywhere: As long as you have Wi-Fi and can access the internet, you can join in the conversation, troubleshoot, or get your work done. For today’s on-the-go workforce, this can truly be advantageous.
There are basically three types of Cloud services: Public, Private and a Hybrid (we typically recommend this for our clients). Read on to see what kind of Cloud would benefit your business most.
- A Public Cloud provides services over the Internet and is usually a less expensive option. Most SaaS applications run on a public Cloud.
- A Private Cloud is a dedicated solely to your company. While more costly, it is often the best choice for software and data that require a high level of security.
- A Hybrid Cloud combines both public and private Cloud services. A popular choice for businesses, it allows you to keep very sensitive information more secure while also taking advantage of public-Cloud efficiencies where it makes sense.
You may feel more comfortable keeping sensitive information and critical applications on premise. However, if you are looking to utilize conferencing software or want to work with a collaborative project-management platform, you might consider a SaaS solution. Your business’ unique needs will help guide your decision. Here’s a few things you can do to help with the process:
- Remember, it does not have to be all or nothing when it comes to the Cloud.
- Pick and choose what applications, access and storage options make the most sense to you and your business.
- Have a strategy for what you put in the Cloud (or not) and stick to it.
- Communicate with your team every step of the way as you go through any Cloud migration to get buy-in and adoption of your new Cloud protocols.
- Understand the security behind your choice of Cloud service. Relay this to the team to allay any fears about the confidentiality and accessibility of data.
- Use the Cloud-migration opportunity as a chance to review data, files and applications that are no longer relevant to your business, and purge. There is no sense in paying for things in the Cloud that you have no use for.
To make things accessible and save infrastructure costs, some companies that moved to the Cloud have started to look at the bottom-line costs for Cloud computing, and the numbers have not always been kind. In fact, according to a Datalink/IDG survey of over 100 IT professionals, almost 40% of companies with a public-Cloud experience have migrated back to an in-house data center citing concerns with security, pricing and manageability.
Many businesses have seen once-attractive entry costs for moving to the Cloud skyrocket as data and storage rates have increased. In addition, changing subscription services for line-of-business applications has created issues as many of these platforms require an active subscription to access archived data; thus, requiring business owners to run more than one subscription service. Still, other companies feel that stronger security and control can be provided with an on-premise solution. A CompTIA study in 2016 found that business and IT execs ranked these reasons to return to on-premise systems:
· Security (58%)
· Failure to achieve cost goals (30%)
· Failure to integrate (24%)
· Dissatisfaction with reliability (22%).
Every business needs to consider its goals prior to making any decision about the Cloud. These conversations are best had with a knowledgeable IT company that can help point out the pros and cons and keep you grounded as you make your decision to put your head (and your business) in the Cloud or not.
As you consider the Cloud for your business, be certain to speak with your IT provider to ascertain the pros and cons and to make the best decision for your company.
About Tech 2020 Solutions
Tech 2020 Solutions offers complete turn-key solutions for the technologies that drive your business, stores and secures your data and helps you communicate in and outside of your company.
Offering offer multiple levels of on-site and remote support, monitoring and maintenance for your data, IT, phones and peripheral equipment needs including: General IT Support and Services, Cloud Storage and Applications, Network Security, Backup, Mobile Solutions, VoIP Phone Systems, Unified Communications, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and other Scalable Technologies. Visit www.Tech2020Solutions.com to learn more about Tech 2020 Solutions, Inc. or call 516-876-8761 or email info@Tech2020solutions.com.
Power Up with John Hassler is a blog distributed by Tech 2020 Solutions, Inc. and written by John Hassler, President and Founder of the company. To reach John, contact him at 516.876.8761 or via email at news@Tech2020Solutions.com. Connect on Linked In and Facebook.