How Well Balanced is Your Use of Cloud Computing?

The Benefits of Cloud Computing Before we get into the negatives presented by cloud computing, we should look at the benefits. Today’s cloud is a secure, reliable computing option that can provide a business the access to tools that can help their ability to coordinate, execute, and support their operations. Additionally, most computing tools that you can host yourself, you can host in the cloud. With different parts of your businesses needing different tools to function this can substantially decrease your capital output for your business’ IT. On top of the massive amount of workable options available, most cloud computing platforms are managed by the cloud provider, further removing the coordination and cost associated with IT support and system administration. For this reason, cloud computing is often looked on as having a lot of value, especially regarding solutions for collaboration, storage, backup, and communications.   So, What’s Bad About Cloud Computing? After listing all the positives, what could possibly be negative about cloud computing? In the cloud, companies often pay too much for their computing.  Now you have to understand, the ease of use, the scalability, and the anytime/anywhere access provides value of its own, no doubt, but if you pay too much for your business’ computing, you are still paying too much. While cloud computing does make a lot of sense for many businesses, if you overextend yourself with SaaS offerings, storage, or processing you may actually be renting for a lot more than you think. Think about your business’ computing like buying a house vs. renting. When you pay the per month rate from another provider, you are effectively renting your tools. Sure, owning your own house takes a lot more capital up front, but payments are less expensive and eventually, you’ll own it.  If you don’t like that analogy, then consider that a company that loses track of its cloud output, or overextends itself in the cloud, is throwing away money. If that goes on for a few months, it could have a major effect on your technology budget.  At SRS Networks, we want to help you make the best technology decisions for your particular situation. If you would like to get an assessment, or if you just want to talk to one of our IT professionals about how you can affordably improve your IT, reach out to us today at (831) 758-3636.

6 Huge Benefits Businesses Gain from the Cloud

Data Redundancy One of the most crucial parts of any business’ computing infrastructure is its backup system. Data, especially important personal and financial data, needs to be protected,  sure, but it’s the operational data that, if lost, would be like throwing money away. Since most public cloud platforms are managed and maintained (and often guaranteed) by the host, they include comprehensive data redundancy in the cost of the service. This ensures that with cloud computing, your data and your business are protected from data loss. Enhanced Mobility If you are a business owner in 2020, we don’t have to tell you how important mobility is nowadays. With cloud computing you are paying for a service that can be accessed from anywhere with a broadband Internet connection from nearly any device you can have at any time. If that doesn’t improve your business’ mobility, I’m not sure what will. Improved Collaboration Businesses need to control their costs. That’s why they need to do more with less. One way to stretch costs is to leverage collaborative technology. Today’s cloud-based productivity and management platforms are built with collaboration in mind, giving organizations the resources they need to both promote strong productivity while keeping costs down Data Storage When a business commits to the notion that its computing isn’t as dependent on a single location as it once was, they can keep from spending huge amounts of capital on hardware refreshes and store their data securely in the cloud. Along with anytime/anywhere access, the cloud offers a reliable and secure platform for businesses looking for an alternative to purchasing expensive new hardware.  Scalability One of the most valuable aspects of using cloud-hosted resources is the ability to scale up and back and only pay for the computing your business needs. Adding accounts, terabytes, or complete software titles takes only minutes removing major hurdles and expense. There have been situations where the ability to scale cloud solutions up and back quickly have saved businesses so much money that it has paid for entire projects.   Communications The cloud is so reliable that many businesses are beginning to switch to cloud-hosted telephone and conferencing systems. This not only cuts major business expenses inside the office; hosted VoIP can pay for itself in the amount that it saves businesses on mobile fees. The reliability of cloud communications is better than ever and with so many businesses relying on remote workers and communications, the cloud provides a cost-effective solution.  If you would like to learn more about how the cloud can revolutionize the way you look at your business’ IT, call the IT professionals at SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636.

Never Has the Cloud Been More Important

Cloud Computing in the Context of Today’s Businesses Even if a lot of business owners don’t always trust cloud computing for their most important computing needs, they have likely been utilizing some type of cloud platform for a while. The cloud is computing that is hosted on rented hardware and is broadcast over a broadband Internet connection. These computing options are normally managed and maintained by the service provider and are billed at a static monthly rate, whether that be per user or per gigabyte. Many businesses use Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which is the most popular (and expansive) cloud computing delivery method, but more businesses are now subscribing to other cloud-based tools such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which delivers hardware solutions billed per gigabyte.  For the modern business, cloud computing fits seamlessly. It provides them with the opportunity to get the computing resources they need, without taking on the huge financial investment that new hardware traditionally demanded. It also allows for dynamic scalability, a major benefit as to not waste money on computing resources your company doesn’t need, but giving your business the ability to quickly get the necessary resources when you need them.  Cloud Options As stated above there are options for most parts of your business, including: Hardware  Virtualized hardware is useful for a multitude of purposes. It can present options to host specific applications or a dedicated platform for application development. The main advantage of purchasing hardware in the cloud is that you can virtualize local computing resources and not waste money like many businesses that rely on onsite computing resources do.  Software  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options available:  Line of Business – Companies are hosting their line of business applications in the cloud so that they can be assured that people have access to this essential software from any place at any time.  Productivity – Productivity software has long been a driving force in cloud deployment. With titles like Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite available, businesses can get complete suites of tools they need to help them be productive and improve collaboration.  Communication – Solutions like Hosted Email and VoIP have changed the way that  business views its communications. Security – Security is extremely important and today’s cloud platform is more secure than cloud resources of the past. Not only are there full-fledged security suites available in the cloud, the cloud itself can deliver more security options, providing businesses with all the options they need to keep their networks and  cloud platforms secure. The Internet of Things, a major innovation to the way people interact with products, is fueled, in large part, by cloud computing. There are quite literally dozens of secure and reliable cloud platforms available to run IoT, AI, and much, much more.  If you are looking to outfit your business with more cloud-based platforms, contact the IT professionals at SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636. 

How to Ensure Your Cloud Platforms are Secure

Problems You May See with Cloud Services Most of the cloud services companies will deploy are “as-a-Service” products designed to cut costs and provide the scalability and flexibility needed with today’s mobile workforces. As a result, there will have to be some extra diligence on the other end of this to ensure that data is secure and accessible.  Loss of Service Even the biggest names in cloud computing suffer from downtime. Sure, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft’s uptime is much closer to 100 percent than they are to 99 percent, but you could still suffer from some downtime. Being sure that your staff is notified when planned outages are scheduled, it will eliminate some of the concern they have. Data Loss and Breaches Nowadays, hackers and cybercriminals are on the lookout for vulnerabilities in systems no matter who they belong to, or how they’re used. Cloud service providers typically maintain very strong security standards, and tend to use powerful tools to ward against unauthorized access to their drives. Compliance Issues Many compliance regulations require built-in transparency and sometimes that can be difficult when your organization uses cloud services. Additionally, regulations that call on proof of security may be a headache for your organization. There are resources on the market that are built to help your organization keep in compliance, but if you choose to trust SRS Networks with the management of your IT infrastructure, you will find that our IT professionals can ensure data integrity, keeping your business safe from rebuke.  If you use cloud-hosted resources for your business, understanding where the holes are can keep you from having problems with platform security and data integrity. Call the IT professionals at (831) 758-3636 today to learn more about cloud security. 

Cloud Options Fuel Growth

Let’s review how cloud computing can be harnessed to your business’ advantage. Flexibility and Scalability Thanks to how a cloud solution functions, it is especially easy for your business to operate in the way that suits it best. By leveraging the cloud, your employees would no longer be restricted to only working from your office space, instead being able to access their work from any secure Internet connection. As a result, your employees have the chance to work more effectively, more often. Furthermore, cloud computing allows you to scale your business’ available resources to best suit your needs. By using cloud resources for your computing needs, concerns about over- or under-investing in the solutions your business requires become a non-issue, and you are able to expand your business at an optimal rate. Cost Savings On a related note, investing in the cloud allows you to optimize your IT spend… otherwise, you’d have to invest in all of the necessary infrastructure for an in-house solution, plus the maintenance of your systems. When you subscribe to a cloud solution, these costs are replaced by a predictable service fee, allowing you to better manage your company’s finances and invest more into your growth. Security Unfortunately, it is only too easy to fall into bad habits when it comes to cybersecurity, which can leave your business’ data vulnerable to threats like malware, ransomware, hardware corruption, or even disaster events and other common causes of data loss. While they are not completely infallible, cloud service providers typically have more experience and better resources to help keep your data secure, as well as the motivation to do so. Productivity and Efficiency Finally, few things help a business to grow as much as being able to operate productively. As we discussed above, the secure access that a properly configured cloud solution can give your employees allows them to work effectively, from anywhere. This leads to improved potential productivity, as well as increased freedom for your employees to work as they do best. If cloud computing sounds like it could play a role in your operations, reach out to SRS Networks at (831) 758-3636. We can help you adopt a solution that works for you.

The Usefulness of the Hybrid Cloud and Its Costs

Many businesses, concerned about the security of their data have some trepidation about pulling the trigger on moving to a cloud platform. For these companies, private cloud servers may fit their needs, but the money spent designing the right cloud solution, implementing it, and constantly maintaining it may be outside of their budget constraints. Today, businesses have found a solution, that is creating a hybrid cloud environment that allows them to protect the applications and data they need the most control over, while still utilizing public cloud resources that allow them to curtail costs a bit. There are extra costs associated with moving to a hybrid cloud, however. They will likely still be more attractive than the costs your business would incur with only a private cloud infrastructure, but they are going to cost you more than utilizing only public cloud resources. Some additional costs that you should be aware of include: Management  Managing a hybrid cloud environment brings some additional challenges. When managing private cloud resources, your IT administrator only needs to focus on managing the servers and network. With a hybrid, IT admins are now being asked to manage the on-premise cloud as well as the public cloud (or clouds) you choose to integrate into the hybrid environment. More coverage means more cost. Integration and Customization The whole benefit of the hybrid cloud, apart from the initial cost savings you’ll see by incorporating public cloud resources, is that you will be able to set up your IT infrastructure in a way where it works best for your business. To do this, it will likely take more time dealing with cloud vendors and finding the right setup. Software In order for the hybrid cloud to be effective, you will need an integration platform that provides the ability for on premise-hosted applications and data to work with externally-hosted applications and data. This software, often called middleware, will take time and effort to properly incorporate. Storage The long-term storage costs associated with a hybrid cloud rollout can be wildly variable, so setting up the platform to account for volume growth at the beginning has to be a consideration as adding it as you go could get extraordinarily complicated.  Compliance Most businesses have to meet some type of regulatory compliance and, if using a hybrid platform, all of their external resources will have to be audited to ensure that they meet the standards put forth by the regulatory body, whether they be mandated by federal or state agencies or from an industry-based body. A hybrid cloud system is an advantageous platform for any business if you can handle the massive amount of considerations and variable costs that come with integrating one. For more information, call the IT professionals at SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636.

Get the Utility You Need From the Cloud

Data storage can be one of the most overwhelming responsibilities of a business. Keeping all your data organized and accessible is one thing, but when the realization that this also needs to be secure is introduced, data security sounds a lot more complicated. Today we will break down why cloud computing is a smarter computing method than traditional approaches. Data Security One of the most daunting business realizations is how frequently security breaches occur, and how expensive they are. Cloud utilization has exploded into an immensely popular business computing method for a plethora of reasons, and data security is just one of them. The cloud is unlike traditional approaches to data storage due to the fact that all of your data is on a virtual server. This unique characteristic enables users to be prepared for the what ifs, such as equipment failure or other hardware malfunctions. While your hard drive can still fail when using cloud computing, your data storage cannot.  Flexibility Let’s go back to our simplified version of the cloud– flash drives. Here is the comparable scenario your business might encounter when determining a data storage strategy: You’re in charge of collecting and storing customer information that is collected at the entrance to an event. You decide you will store it all on a flash drive, so you go to your local tech store and stare at all your options. 16G, 32G, even up to 500G. Which one is right for you? Do you buy the extremely expensive one only to utilize a small fraction of it, or do you buy 16G only to find that it was not nearly enough?  This is a scenario that cloud computing can prevent you from encountering. Cloud computing means you aren’t wasting resources powering a massive server that you only use a marginal amount of, yet it also ensures your business isn’t going to build a server only to find it isn’t nearly as capable as you need it to be.  Cloud Efficiency  Using the cloud opens your business up to many opportunities that old-fashioned options cannot. Efficiency comes in multiple forms with cloud computing. Worker efficiency is another topic commonly associated with cloud computing. This form of computing allows employees to upload their data or content instantly to the cloud, automatically. This opens doors to remote work options, as well as group collaboration projects. Once someone is directly given permission in the cloud, a client or a prospect, can view all of their documentation. Apologizing for not having a file on hand is simply a thing of the past.  There Are Even More Advantages to Using the Cloud! Business Intelligence – It was reported in 2018 that 66 percent of organizations consider themselves to be successfully using Business Intelligence initiatives currently using the cloud.  Analytics – The cloud offers businesses a wide range of analytic tools and techniques to help companies track data. It categorizes data in a way that is easily analyzed. Blockchain – Blockchain is one of the most innovative computing tools. With the use of the cloud, blockchain technology will continue to improve and be utilized to further benefit your business. As technology evolves, so should your computing methods. The tip of the iceberg is cloud computing — what lies below are a monumental amount of advantages […]

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