TO THE CLOUD...
What every business should know before moving to the cloud.
For the past few years we have been hearing the incredible benefits of “The Cloud.” The truth is cloud computing has been available for decades. For those around during the mainframe and dumb terminal era, this way of working is very familiar. The cost and availability of high speed internet has brought this computing delivery option to the masses.
Key characteristics of the cloud include standardization, internet based, usage pricing, scalability, accessibility and no administration for the consumer. By moving customers to the cloud, application developers now have control of the environment running their software. This reduces the versions they have to support along with all of the different computers types they had to make work.
They also moved to a steady annuity revenue stream for their software, hardware, maintenance and support. You can see why this is not a fad, but will continue to be a growing trend. The business owner can now implement new software for their company without large upfront investments in hardware and software.
These costs are included in the periodic payment plan offered by cloud vendors. They also don’t have to be concerned with administration and maintenance costs since this infrastructure is owned by their vendor.
So, let’s move everything to the Cloud, right?
Here’s the often missing discussion, it’s not an all or nothing decision. Technologies are now available that allow small business owners have the same capabilities of cloud computing and keep control of their infrastructure and data. Concerns of security, large data storage costs, and compliance are just a few reasons the cloud is not appropriate in all circumstances. In many scenarios, using a combination of the cloud and on-premise computing power, or hybrid cloud, is the best solution. Look at each piece of software being used in your business. Review the services being performed and the total cost of operations (TCO) of available options. Choose those systems that should be moved to the cloud and those that should stay on-premise. Make a strategic business and financial decision, not a trend decision.