Every business has a lot of documents that they need to keep in perpetuity. They also choose to keep many that they may not need, just so they have the information to serve their customers better. Traditionally, this meant manila file folders with a bunch of papers representing all the information and contracts that a particular customer has. This could be a little as one file cabinet, but for some organizations, a warehouse is needed. Technology now allows an organization to safely store all of their documents in a secure data center.
The cloud is undeniably a useful approach to technology, for reasons ranging from its accessibility to its scalability to its purported cost efficacy. Why purported? Well, there are hidden costs that can very well impact whether or not the cloud is your best option.
The cloud can be a huge part of any successful business, so long as you are able to keep control over it and utilize it to your business’ advantage. Centralized authority over your organization’s cloud access controls is critical to keeping it safe and functional. Let’s go over what this means and how you can achieve it.
How much does your business spend annually on data storage and data warehousing? Considering the fact that we live in a society where immense amounts of data are stored and housed online, you might be surprised by how much you actually spend on this incredibly important aspect of running a business. In fact, we’re willing to bet that you’re spending too much.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to cloud computing… a lot more than many people might anticipate. Let’s hash out what is really required when it comes to properly managing your cloud resources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.