Today, with cloud computing evolving daily, business leaders have to approach it with a more strategic, and informed, view. The ‘traditional’ view of IT expenditure and the cloud is changing fast: it’s no longer as straightforward as “on-premise = CAPEX and Cloud = OPEX”. There is a myriad of options in between and some or all of them will suit different businesses in different ways.
For example, more flexible OPEX funding arrangements, improved IT support, and cheaper hardware, are becoming available across the full gamut of IT architectures, meaning businesses could have their on-premise infrastructure for a monthly fee. This solves the CAPEX versus OPEX problem for the Financial Director but does it allow the scalability or security for the CTO?
Dial a Nerd has transitioned hundreds of businesses to the Cloud, and some of them back again. It’s also one of the largest resellers of Office 365 to the South African SME market. It’s uniquely and objectively positioned to debate the pros and cons of the Cloud.
To put it simply, Cloud computing is using the Internet instead of your hard drive to store information or applications. The following are 7 reasons why using Cloud can be better for your business or school:
The Cloud is more Reliable
Maintenance of IT equipment can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. And it’s no guarantee that something won’t fail anyway and leave you with even more expenses doing recovery. With the Cloud, these problems are someone else’s. You are paying a monthly fee for access to your data or applications and the company providing this access needs to make sure it is always available. It is important to choose the right provider but the options are myriad and the companies are massive with great track records like Google, Microsoft or Amazon.
The Cloud also helps the disaster recovery process. Aberdeen Group found that businesses which used the cloud were able to resolve issues in an average of 2.1 hours, nearly four times faster than businesses that didn’t use the Cloud (8 hours).
The Cloud is more Secure
The Cloud is more encrypted than your traditional IT systems. Cloud solutions such as Microsoft Office365 send data and emails using 256-bit encryption (which is better than that used by banks). A traditional server is also prone to physical theft whereas a Cloud solution is hosted in an extremely secure location or even overseas.
The Cloud is more flexible
If your company is growing or shrinking the Cloud can help. One of the major benefits is that it scales for your needs. Up or down. According to Salesforce.com, 65% of businesses want the Cloud because of its ability to meet business demands quickly.
As an example, if you had previously bought a server that could handle 100 employees but you downsized to 50 employees you would still be stuck with the server and be out of pocket for capacity you don’t need. With Cloud, you might be paying a per-user fee every month so if you go from 100 employees to 50 you would reduce your costs by 50% the very next month. Contrarily if you had bought the same server for your 100 employees but then increased it to 200 employees your server might not cope. You’d then be out of pocket for the original server and would have to buy a new one! It doesn’t matter how many users you have, the Cloud is more flexible from a pricing point of view.
You can work from anywhere
As long as you have an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. You just need to access the Cloud. With a traditional IT solution, if you are overseas and there is load shedding in South Africa and your mail is hosted on a server in your office, you will not be able to access your email. With the Cloud, it doesn’t matter what happens to Head Office, you can access your mail and files.
This could be even more than just email. You could also use the Cloud for your accounting package. So if your team works from home due to load shedding at the office, they can keep your invoicing going!
Cloud computing is more Environmentally friendly
The Cloud is much more environmentally friendly in comparison to running on-premise servers. This is because Cloud servers are massive and you are benefiting from the economy of their scale. Research suggests that for a large enterprise, making the switch would save around 30,000 metric tons of CO2 within five years.
It also becomes very easy for your staff to work remotely. In the greater scheme of things, that’s fewer cars on the road and better for the environment.
The Cloud is more cost-effective
In 2009, when Americas Federal Cloud Computing Initiative was announced, the CIO explained that the Cloud “has the potential to greatly reduce waste, increase data centre efficiency and utilization rates, and lower operating costs.”
With Cloud computing, the need for on-premise servers and costs associated diminish. The Cloud can also help with extending the life of your PCs, saving you money in the long run. And, as previously mentioned, the Cloud provider will actively manage and maintain your hosted programs. In turn, this will minimize downtime. And with less downtime, you have greater productivity.
The Cloud allows you to have more computer operation time. Service offerings such as Microsoft Office 365 use the Cloud for better file sharing, email connection and allow you to use office online. Dial a Nerd is a prime example of this, we have had barely any issues with our mail since we changed over 3 years ago. Most providers promise better than 99.9% uptime.
All in all, the Cloud comes with less risk, better productivity, lower capital expenditure and a host of other benefits.
Connecting to the Cloud requires the correct Internet and IT solutions. Contact us today to get a free cloud readiness assessment.