Businesses have been taking advantage of the cloud for some time now, and nine out of ten businesses operating today are using the cloud’s capabilities in some way or another. We feel confident enough to say that the future will certainly involve cloud hosting. Let’s look at some of the statistics and business trends to see how far the cloud has come, and how you could be taking advantage of it if you aren’t already.
When it comes to the cloud, your business is going to have to make some choices. There are several different types of options, all of which might suit your organization depending on its specific needs. To help you make the best decision possible, we have put together a short list of questions you should consider when making a commitment to a cloud solution for your business.
With the cloud gaining so much traction in recent years, you might begin to wonder if the cloud is an appropriate next step for your business to take. Well, today, we might just have your answer, and it’s one that you probably have already guessed at. Yes, the cloud is a great way for your business to improve access to technology solutions. Let’s go over how you might use it.
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.
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.
Explaining VoIPA VoIP solution hosted in the cloud is a full-featured telephone system for your business. In these troubling times, more businesses have begun to look to a hosted VoIP system than ever before. Chances are that your business already pays for more bandwidth than it uses. This extra bandwidth is just wasted money but utilizing it would stretch your budget further. VoIP provides that opportunity. By cancelling your overpriced business telephone system and switching to a cloud-based VoIP system, you will save money and enjoy some of the following benefits: Access to Expert Technicians – Maintenance is critical for the effectiveness of your VoIP system. If you host it in-house, you unfortunately have to take care of the maintenance of it yourself, which can be difficult and costly, but if you choose a cloud-hosted option the provider will manage the solution. Important Security Benefits – Rather than risk a breach happening, today’s VoIP platform protects you with encryption. Every call’s data is encrypted before it leaves for its destination, thereby protecting your business’ assets in a way that may not be possible otherwise. Increased Mobility – A hosted VoIP solution gives your business many additional opportunities to boost productivity and efficiency. For example, being able to simply forward a call to a user’s smartphone creates the mobile support that many businesses find ideal today, and that can really work as businesses figure out their next move. Powerful Features – One of the most important features of the hosted VoIP platform is the myriad of features that can be provided alongside the dynamic telephone service. Not only are there dozens of calling features, a hosted VoIP platform gives you the option to add video conferencing, instant messaging, and more. It doesn’t matter if your business has 30 employees or 300, a hosted VoIP solution is right for you, if you are looking to embrace mobility and improve efficiency. Call SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636 to learn more about switching your business’ telephone system to VoIP.
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.
What Software-as-a-Service Really Is To really get a handle on SaaS and its benefits, let’s examine it in what is likely its most well-known utilization: the streaming services offered by Netflix. Really, Netflix streaming effectively works the same way that SaaS works for organizations that make use of it. Subscribers to Netflix’s streaming service pay a monthly fee to access a shifting library of content as much as they want, on a variety of devices. Similarly, SaaS allows businesses to utilize up-to-date versions of crucial business programs, also billed on a month-to-month basis. This results in additional similarities, which translates positively for the user. The Benefits of SaaS Accessibility Netflix enables its users to view content from practically anywhere, provided they have an account, a compatible device, and a connection to the Internet. SaaS works in the same way, opening a business to greater opportunities to productivity. Scalability As a bonus, both options can easily be scaled to better fit one’s needs… a Netflix account can be shared between up to five user profiles, and different tiers allow different numbers of profiles to be used simultaneously. As for SaaS, an agreement can usually cover as many users as a business would need, allowing for new hires, departing employees, or shifting responsibilities. Cost Efficiency Now, you may be thinking that it would ultimately be less expensive to simply procure a given software solution and maintain it in-house. However, you need to consider the additional investments that this approach will require of you… like acquiring and maintaining the hardware needed to support these solutions. These costs alone would almost certainly negate any “savings” you’d see from managing your software yourself. Security Using older software that isn’t kept up-to-date can lead to vulnerabilities. The SaaS model means the software is always kept secure via regular updates from the developer. California businesses can rely on SRS Networks for a wide assortment of their IT needs, including SaaS. Learn more about what we offer by calling (831) 758-3636 today.