Is your business growing? That’s great news! But often business growth comes with its own set of challenges. You might need bigger offices, new desks and…new technology. But if you think back to when you last bought servers for your business (and everything that went with it), you might remember that it was a very expensive investment. Is it possible to delay...or better yet...totally avoid that big investment? In other words, should you move to “The Cloud?
That’s an excellent question to ask, but before we answer it, let’s talk about what “The Cloud” is and how it can help you.
What Is “The Cloud?”
The first thing to know about “The Cloud” is that there isn’t just one cloud. The term “cloud” is just a nickname for decentralized on-line storage of data and applications. Microsoft has clouds. Google has clouds. Amazon has clouds. These days, it seems everyone has clouds, and they all do different things with different advantages and disadvantages.
So when we talk about “The Cloud” we’re really talking about the idea of using Internet-connected computers that are owned, serviced and maintained by someone else for your company’s software and data storage, instead of a machine in some air-conditioned back room in your own office.
The Old Days
Back in “The Old Days” when you needed new servers you had to decide how much power and storage you would need. You’d be buying CPUs, memory, RAID drives, backup systems, UPS’s, monitors, server software, applications software, network monitoring software, security software...and the list goes on.
The tough part is that you aren’t just buying for today. You need to predict what you’ll need over the next 3 to 5 years or longer. And that’s a difficult guessing game to play.
And then you need to write a check to pay for it all...or write a lot of smaller checks on a lease.
Cloud Computing For Your Office
Today you have the option of satisfying your server needs with a cloud-based solution. When you move to the cloud, you’re buying storage, bandwidth, and applications from your cloud vendor. But because it is all easily expandable, you’re not paying today for something you’ll only use several years from now. You’re just buying what you need today.
And you are also avoiding the up-front cost or lease obligation of on-premise servers (and all that goes with them).
Among the other advantages of cloud computing are:
- Because you aren’t installing hardware, you have no up-front hardware installation costs
- Similarly you have no hardware-related maintenance fees
- You have no physical security requirements, rack space, wiring expense, or cooling requirements
- You can upgrade or downgrade at any time
But it’s not all good news. There are some disadvantages to cloud computing:
- Eventually, the monthly fees overcome the cost of purchasing the equipment
- The speed and bandwidth of your internet connection can limit your server speed
- A loss of your internet connection separates you from your data
- You don’t have full control over your data
And whether you move to the cloud or not, you still need to think about and install rock solid security to protect your data, and you still need to backup your data and plan your disaster recovery solutions. And if you store any personal health information, financial information or any kind of personally identifiable information, you also need to plan for regulatory compliance.
So Should You Move To The Cloud?
We have a more detailed article on our website about our cloud computing services here. The problem is that too many people think that “The Cloud” is a cure-all for whatever IT problems a company has, but that’s not the case. For us, each time a client of ours grows, shrinks or just needs to upgrade to newer technology, we talk to them about the cloud. We do a thorough analysis of their situation, their growth, their financial requirements, their computing needs, their use cases, the software they require, and much more. And then we discuss the advantages and the disadvantages, but much more specific to their situation.
Sometimes the answer to “Should we move to the cloud?” is an emphatic YES. Sometimes it’s an emphatic NO, but usually it’s somewhere in between.
If you find that your company is facing some IT or business challenges and are considering moving some resources to the cloud, or if you so far have not considered the cloud at all, call us. Our team of cloud computing experts can conduct an analysis of your situation and help you make the right choice. Reach us by phone at 818-913-1335 or contact us online. Let’s talk today about what’s best for your business.