Hello there. Today I will be discussing why small to medium sized businesses should invest in a fully integrated cloud infrastructure over a traditional IT model. Cloud technology has been around for a couple of years now and (with all things technical) businesses have been slow to adopt it. Most big businesses have taken the step to the cloud yet small to medium sized businesses are still choosing to take up the traditional IT option (physical desktops, on site storage etc.). So below I’ve made a list of reasons why small businesses should move to the cloud.
- Flexibility Flexibility is a very important aspect to small and medium sized businesses. Being flexible allows them to manoeuvre and adapt to the ever changing business and economic climate we live in. So, how come they don’t apply that to their IT? The traditional business model for IT is only as flexible if you are willing to pay a lot of money. For example: as an owner of a business, you need a server to do specific tasks. However, to make the most of that server you will need to think 5 years ahead to decide on its requirements. So, to make it flexible in the future, you have it run on up to date hardware, the latest software and a lot of disk space for expansion. By doing this, you now have a high end server that should be able to meet future requirements. However, to get that ability you are now down by a large sum of money. Also, given that technology advances at a fast rate, you’ll find that (after a couple of years) your server will struggle to meet the demand of the tasks you give it. You’ll then have to pay more money to either improve performance or upgrade to a new server. In comparison, using a cloud server will already give you that flexibility from the word go. A cloud server can be changed and adapted to your needs in a matter of minutes. If you need more disk space more can be added in a few clicks. Software can be added in a couple of clicks. This gives you a degree of flexibility that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with a traditional IT model. By taking the cloud route, you can adapt your IT to whatever your requirements are in a short amount of time and for a low cost. Flexibility can also be used in terms of maintaining your IT systems. A problem with a desktop will take longer to fix than a cloud desktop as a technician would have either have to try and fix the problem remotely or come on site to fix the problem. If the technician would have to come on site then the down time is a lot longer as you’d have to wait for the technician to arrive. By having your IT systems in the cloud the technician would be able to take control of your computer and have the issue fixed in a shorter period of time.
- Security Your data is the most important asset to your company. Should your data become compromised or destroyed then your company will struggle to recover it. With the traditional IT method, you’ll setup up your computer and servers to backup regularly, encrypt any data you store and have anti-virus installed. These measures should protect you against most threats such as viruses and unforeseen technical malfunctions. However, will it protect it from a major disaster? Should your company experience a major disaster (such s a flood or a fire) then you’re looking at major downtime in your business and lost or unrecoverable data. This, potentially, could be an event that your business won’t be able to recover from. By using utilising the cloud you can avoid these threats. Having all your data stored on the cloud takes away the risk of localized threats. For example: when using a cloud desktop you connect to the desktop over the internet. All the work that is done on that cloud desktop stays in the cloud. Should your PC break then all you have to do is go to another computer (that has an internet connection) and access your cloud desktop from there. All the work you were working on will be left the way it was when your PC broke. So should your whole office go down none of the work that you or your employees were working on will be lost. The same principle goes for data storage. With your servers in the cloud you will be able to easily access your data once you have a site setup.
- Cost There are two main subjects when to the cost of IT: the cost to run those IT systems (electrical usage) and the cost to maintain those systems. With the traditional IT model the cost is far higher. Even with the advancement of technology your standard desktop still uses a lot of electricity. The same goes to your on site servers, which you should keep running 24/7. The cost to run these IT systems will increase each year as electricity prices go up and your PC goes out of date (in terms of technology). Over those years your PC’s and server’s will also degrade. The standard life span of a desktop is 3 years and in those 3 years the cost of maintenance will go up as your desktop struggles to cope with the tasks it’s given. This changes when you move to the cloud. A number of places offer thin clients to access your cloud desktop to access your cloud desktop. These are, essentially, compact desktops that run on minimum hardware. The hardware itself is barely used as all the work is done on the cloud desktop itself. By using these you reduce electricity costs as far less electricity is being used. Maintenance costs also go down because a thin client has far less to go wrong with it. Since the hardware is barely being used the thin client degrades at a far slower rate, meaning it lasts far longer.
I hope you have found this blog article interesting. Thank you for reading.