Allow me to take your business to the "Cloud"
What is "Cloud Computing"?
The 'Cloud' is widely advertised and discussed in the technology market today. What really is the cloud and what can it truly do for your business?
The Cloud is essentially the connection your business can make to a system/server outside of your organization. It is essentially the use of an external vendors system, software and support to use their platform. It is in most cases a shared platform, which is how vendors can provide services at competitive prices. Cloud services allow businesses to choose to eliminate a server, software or other technology systems and instead choose to connect to a shared/external system outside of their building via an internet connection.
What does this really mean?
This means your firm requires an internet connection to be up 100% of the time or you will not be able to access remote systems. It does, however, allow businesses to easily allow remote workers access to systems when needed and stay mobile. Being a shared system environment, you can be at risk of the host being down, loss of connection, corruption at times or even the cloud provider going out of business, in a worse case scenario.
Hosted systems can be a telephone system, an email server, remote data backup, and many more business type applications. As always, it is most important to understand what your business needs are and to check against your company strategy before transferring to a cloud/hosted based service. The transfer process alone can get complex, depending on the business, and once it is completed it can be twice as challenging and costly to bring it back.
Also, you want to review the ongoing cost structure. When hosting, the cloud provider will charge typically monthly or annually to provide you the 'service' (access to cloud services/systems). This cost will never go away as long as you stay with cloud services and may increase in cost as time elapses. Review the agreements and be aware of the risks when choosing cloud services. For smaller businesses of five to ten users, many cloud services can be highly beneficial since they can allow for zero to minimal upfront capital investment and provide rich features, compared to what a small business may be able to afford in house. For larger businesses 50 to 150 users, hosted services can become cost prohibitive since the monthly rate per user can exceed what it would take to deploy your own system. Also, larger businesses may have specific needs for particular situations and with a hosted provider it can become very difficult or impossible to customize to your specific business requirement.
Ultimately, everything starts with the right assessment/discovery and a true design, which clearly outlines your business needs. Hosted/cloud services may be right for your business or they could be detrimental depending on where you want to go and what you need for your business in order to follow your strategy in full. Technology is a powerful 'Tool' for any business today as it allows organizations to operate quicker, more efficiently and at increase capacity than ever before. But when the wrong technology is put into action, it can become a barrier instead of a helpful tool, which is why we always encourage all businesses to take the time to locate a professional organization in technology to help with the discovery and design process. This will always yield best results and ensure your business receives what you need.
Contact us today to set up your free assessment. We will be happy to get you to your next step in future computing.