Enterprises from every industry, big and small, are transitioning their entire IT environment and data storage into the cloud.
Here are a few issues our customers came to us with when looking at the option to switch to cloud.
Issue – We need to cut cost and risk.
It is time to think differently about your IT costs and the associated risk.
In the early days you needed physical servers. You needed racks. You needed to install dedicated communication lines. You needed air conditioning for the server room (some companies are even trying to capture all the excess heat to heat buildings). Done properly, you needed solid physical security and power backup like a generator. That all costs thousands upon thousands of dollars in capital expenses.
Capital expense (or CAPEX for the business hipster) is the money you physically have to fork over on physical resources that then gets amortized over years.
Here is where the thought change comes in: your infrastructure can now be a service and that service is cloud.
By cutting the capital expense of your IT environment by moving to the cloud — no servers, no racks, no dedicated lines — you now turn your IT expenses into an operating cost (or OPEX for those same business hipsters).
One of these benefits is there is no long term commitment. When a cloud user is finished with the resource, it scales down or can be wiped completely. This lack of financial commitment is attractive to many business owners as it frees them from having to make a significant investment.
Another cost savings can be that you only pay for you what you use. Backups used to require additional onsite hardware and, if done properly, offsite storage of additional equipment or storage media. You were also paying for all of it whether it was fully used or not. With cloud, backups become an automated process and extremely cost efficient. The cost of cloud backup is available for $0.55 per GB (CAD) per month, yes that’s it. No hardware to worry about, and you only pay for what you use.
At the same time, the move to cloud eliminates one of the biggest business continuity risks: access to your data in case of disaster. By having your systems and data in the cloud, an office fire or evacuation does not cut you off from your IT infrastructure.
You can also better manage your risk with cloud with better monitoring. The analytics available, that you can view anywhere at any time, mean you can literally monitor your company from the palm of your hand. Digging into usage and billing analytics makes spotting potentially costly services or going over budget something you can do in near-realtime.
Issue – I am tired of emailing documents with v1/v1a/v2.2.1
Cloud equals one single version of the truth for your documents. Amazing right? Work collaboratively online with live edits, comments and with your whole team – without having more than one version. In fact, that’s how this blog is being written right now. I get to write, and my editor who is at another location is editing it as I continue to write this blog.
Issue – I don’t want my whole business environment in the cloud, but I would like to move some of it.
This is where the popular hybrid cloud strategy comes in. The outcome is really having your head in the cloud with your feet on the ground. Both worlds at once. (see more on this in our previous blog on hybrid cloud environments for business continuity)
Issue – I don’t want to have downtime, we lose too much productivity.
Most cloud solutions offer a 99.9% guaranteed uptime. It’s that simple. Do you travel for work and need the anywhere workplace? Everything is browser-based and you can log into what you need to work on, from any device anywhere. If you don’t have internet where you are going, don’t worry. Download what you need before you get to your destination. Then once able to connect again, sync it back up to the cloud.
While these are just some of the advantages and issues we have come across, cloud needs to be approached in a strategic way for your business. Everything is not going to be right for you, and having a guiding hand will help make the transition a little easier. Take a look at your tech from a business needs and goals point of view. Ask questions, lots of them. A good place to start is: what am I trying to achieve with this technology? Then set targets and expectations, especially with your provider.
Making a move to cloud is becoming easier and easier, and the advantages continue to grow.
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