For some years now IT departments, IT Guys and your cousin’s friend’s brother from around the way have been talking about cloud–based services being the way forward. By now, even the sceptics are starting to believe in the cloud’s benefits, especially now that businesses have had to rejig their systems to enable their remote workers. We have a significant number of servers hosted in the cloud and it has allowed many of our customers to seamlessly transition to a home working environment without the frustration of ensuring the physical office environment is functional.
In short, it takes away the responsibly and upfront cost of owning your local hardware and transfers those responsibilities and costs to larger infrastructure companies. This means less dependency on local hardware and servers to your company and more often with a much more reliable service. The only real stumbling block to most customers is overcoming the aversion of moving from a capital expenditure model to a subscription or service-based model for their IT solutions. Too often the analogies used are not accurate and people feel that “buying a car is better than renting one” when the reality is that if you stored all your company files, intellectual property and financial information in the said car… you’d probably rent an armoured car service to manage it, monthly.
So, let’s look into some of these benefits
Reduced Upfront Investment
Hosted services tend to be priced on a monthly payment basis with minimal upfront costs. Installation costs will still be incurred but they tend to be less than on-premises. Hosted deployment eliminates the need to purchase software licenses up front which can be costly. Monthly payments are also easily able to be factored into cash flow expenditures –allowing for predictable IT budgeting.
Reduce Hardware Purchases
A hosted solution eliminates the need for local hardware such as servers. Instead, the hosting company provides the latest in server technology and upgrades them as needed. Unexpected hardware purchases can be very costly so this can be a huge cost saving.
Reduced Hardware Maintenance costs
Since you don’t own the hardware, the maintenance of the hardware remains the responsibility of the vendor. You no longer have to be concerned with unplanned parts replacements and the cost of labour accompanying those repairs.
Less dependency on the electrical grid
With South Africa’s fragile electrical grid, and now a remote workforce, companies must spend money on backup generators and UPS systems to keep their onsite servers operational and if they haven’t yet, that unplanned expenditure is likely still to come. With a hosted solution, power and access to your server is guaranteed, regardless of the time or the location of your staff and even during load shedding. All you require is a stable internet connection, which reduces your reliance on the company’s office entirely.
Other benefits that should not be ignored:
- Automatic software upgrades that are included in monthly fees
- Backups (when implemented correctly) occur automatically and data is redundant as the backup site is separate to the server location.
- Data centres are far more secure than on-premises servers.
- Servers are remotely accessible from anywhere in the world
- Reliable uptime – better support/infrastructure