Cloud Solutions have made tremendous strides in recent years. With the advent of high-speed internet and mobile technology our environments are more equipped than ever to be able to handle these solutions. Today we’ll discuss what cloud solutions are, when you should consider them for your organization, as well as when it may not make sense to move to the cloud.
What are “Cloud Solutions”?
The term “cloud solutions” has become somewhat of a buzz word in recent years. But there are some cloud solution providers that you likely work with in your personal life everyday – Gmail (Google) and Hotmail (Microsoft) are one. You use these to send and receive email, you likely use iCloud (Apple) or Google Drive (Android) to back up your cellphone (pictures, contacts, etc.) and all of these products that I mentioned are cloud providers.
For now, we can think of cloud solutions as accessing your resources over the internet instead of locally on your network.
From a business perspective there are several aspects that can be migrated over to a cloud solution provider including the following:
This is becoming increasingly less common but if your email is still hosted with an on-premise Exchange server moving to a cloud email provider can provide you with the following benefits:
- If your organization is planning to grow significantly you won’t have to worry about scaling your data center to support the growth.
- Most cloud email providers have security as their number one priority. This takes the stress and liability off your shoulders.
- Cloud email platforms have redundancy built-in so you are easily up and running quickly in the event of an outage whereas with hosting your email server on-site you could be down for hours while your email services are restored.
Hosting your file server in the cloud can be very beneficial for your organization. You will see the following benefits:
- Remote work and collaboration are vastly improved with moving to the cloud. Employees can access their files from anywhere that has an internet connection.
- Again, cloud file solution providers have security as their number one priority. Leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
- You no longer have to foot the bill for maintaining and upgrading your on-premises file server equipment. Your organization will always be using the latest and greatest from the cloud solution provider.
There are various options out there for software as a service (SaaS). You have QuickBooks Online, Salesforce, etc. EIS can certainly help facilitate some of these transactions and conversations with the vendor for our Managed Service Partnerships.
Top 5 Reasons Your Organization Should Use Cloud Solutions
So now that we have a bit of an understanding as to what a cloud solution IS what are the 5 benefits that your organization will experience when you move over to it?
1. Greater Flexibility
Implementing cloud solutions in your small business or organization will allow greater flexibility and ease of use for your staff members. Accessing your files, emails, and resources is easier than ever with the implementation of cloud software. The landscape has changed, and people are now expecting their employers to offer remote work part time at a minimum and this is much easier to manage and roll out when you are in the cloud vs. being with your on-premise infrastructure.
2. Improved Security
When you move to the cloud not only are you improving your organizations flexibility, but you are also improving your security posture as a whole. On-premises file servers require vast amounts of attention to detail from a patching and updating perspective. In addition, in today’s landscape protecting your business assets is becoming a full-time job that is oftentimes too difficult for IT departments to handle alone. When you move your business over to a cloud solution provider, they are often sourcing and hiring the talent that will be suited to improving the security posture of their file servers.
While the file permissions and internal policies will remain an IT responsibility the underlying infrastructure will be the responsibility of your cloud solution provider.
3. Increased Productivity & Collaboration
With the help of productivity and collaboration software from Microsoft and Google your staff will find it easier than ever to stay connected, online, and in the know with what’s happening at work. Apps such as Teams, Google Keep, SharePoint, and Google Drive are making it easier than ever for staff to collaborate and work together on key projects.
4. Lower Upfront Costs
With the cloud you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get the appropriate server infrastructure in place. Current security recommendations for servers include keeping your directory server, file server, and email server separate from one another. Even if you purchase a low-end server (which may not be able to handle the workload required of it) you’re looking at thousands of dollars in startup costs not including the licensing.
Moving to the cloud not only gives you a low monthly fee to start but it gives you access to resources that only the largest enterprises would be able to have just 15 years ago.
5. Increased resiliency
Businesses that can respond to an event such as a virus, hack, or physical problem such as a fire, are more likely to survive an incident. With a cloud solution provider, you are more readily able to get your staff members online and working than if you hosted all of the infrastructure internally. If a fire burns down your server you can bring your organization’s operations up quickly and efficiently.
When Would Cloud Solutions Not Work?
Our number one priority as an IT partner is to work with our customers to determine the best course of action for them to take based on their unique business environment. We look at everything from compliance requirements to availability needs to decide on what the best course of action is. There are a couple of instances that we would raise red flags on taking the traditional cloud solution approach:
- Limited bandwidth at your place of business (this is becoming increasingly rare but can still be an issue in some rural locations and is worth noting.)
- Compliance requirements for your type of business are certainly worth considering. Some types of organizations will require a more careful eye and discussions with the vendor to ensure they are meeting their compliance requirements.
If you have any questions regarding how your organization is currently using your IT systems and would like a trained ear to chat with, please give us a call today at 866.347.1033 or book some time on our calendar.