As we all know, the world of work is an uncertain one, and we are never sure what tomorrow will bring. This uncertainty has never been more apparent than that which all business owners have experienced over the last two years or so. Most businesses are still in the process of recovering from the ramifications left behind from the pandemic – and they are the lucky ones, because some no longer have a business to recover.
Luckily, business owners love a challenge and are born problem solvers, technology was at a point that it could assist us in continuing to work throughout the pandemic – many found alternative ways of working in order to give their businesses a chance of surviving the uncertainty that Covid-19 brought about. The most popular method of surviving was a full conversion to Cloud computing – it allowed employees to continue working with very little change to their workday, apart from it now taking place in a remote setting. The Cloud operates by paying for a service as opposed to paying for all the infrastructure behind it too, and this makes the service much easier for business owners – they only need to be concerned about business functions rather than the mechanics behind it.
The Cloud is now world renowned and has become the most popular option on the market. Due to its modern capable features many have made the jump from traditional ‘on-premise’ IT to a Cloud IT environment, but they have some major differences. Traditional on-premise IT takes far more management by you as the business owner, whereas the Cloud is managed almost entirely by your IT provider.
It is integral that your business works – and your data is backed-up – in a way that is relevant for you and the way that you work. Every business works differently so be sure that your choice of IT solution suits your way of doing things.
It can be a very tedious task deciding on which option is best for you, your team, and the continued growth of your thriving business. In the remainder of this article, we will highlight the positives and negatives of the Cloud. In the one that follows it, we will explore the pros and cons of on-premise IT, and we hope that, by the end of these articles, you will be able to make the right decision for your business. If not there is no need to panic because we are always available to help and consult on what is right for you.
The Cloud – The positives
The Cloud ensures your data is safe whereas traditional on-premise IT can be impacted by threats, failure, and disruption. Regardless of this, we highly recommend that you have copies of your data hosted elsewhere with alternative services, because further protecting your data is never a bad thing, and the more copies of your data you have the less likely a cyber attack (or any unforeseen circumstances for that matter) is going to cause business debilitating damage.
The Cloud gives you the ability to communicate and share from anywhere on the planet (if you have an internet connection). The levels of collaboration the Cloud offers are revolutionary; it has the power to change the way your team work forever. The Cloud allows them to work on the same document from anywhere in the world – one of you could be sitting on the beach and the other halfway round the world at a ski resort, as long as you have an internet connection you are able to work on the same documents.
Cloud providers offer instant flexibility in the resources they provide. This enables you to scale as and when your organization needs to, which is important in the modern world. The uncertainty can cause businesses to fail, but, with the Cloud, as your needs change, you can scale and evolve in a matter of hours, all whilst keeping things affordable too. With the Cloud, this level of scalability ensures that you and your team are using all the tools at your disposal as cost effectively as possible.
The Cloud allows you to access your data again quickly after a crisis – with the Cloud you can conduct business as usual whilst minimizing loss of productivity and any downtime, therefore ensuring you maintain quality service no matter the circumstances.
The reduced cost
The Cloud completely removes the cost of managing and maintaining your own IT systems -a cost that can be extortionate. Cloud providers usually include all system upgrades, and any new hardware or software in your pre agreed monthly payment, which means no surprise expenditures. Traditional IT, on the other hand, makes you pay for all this yourself at often quite a substantial additional cost – not only this, you also have to be aware of when upgrades are needed. Would you know when a piece of tech will need updating in advance?
The Cloud can also save you money on wages too. As harsh as it sounds there is likely no need to continue employing the team that managed your on-premise IT because your Cloud provider will do that as part of the service you pay for in your monthly subscription.
The Cloud will save you time, money, and – arguably most importantly – boost the levels of productivity that your team are able to achieve. But don’t get it wrong, the Cloud is by no means perfect. Everything has down sides and the Cloud is no different.
The Cloud – The down sides
Internet connection dependency
A constant internet connection is not hard to achieve these days, but we can’t control everything; anything could happen to force your internet connection to fail, thereby leaving you with no access to business-critical data. Most businesses couldn’t afford the potentially huge downtime experienced from a loss of internet connection, so, for many, this may spell the end of the business altogether.
The loss of control
For a business owner control can be hard to let go of. It can be a challenging task – handing control of your system to others – you are then entrusting them to behave according to the law and in the best interest of your business simultaneously (to ensure that your data is protected and stored in the correct manner). Your regulatory obligations may demand that you complete due diligence on the comprehensiveness of your infrastructure provider – you need to know where their data centres are, what the level of security is like, and seek reviews from their existing customer base – there is no better critic than someone still using their services.
Business owners don’t like feeling powerless. With your Cloud subscription you are trusting the abilities and experience of the IT professionals in charge of your account. But remember, there are many providers that do not offer a 24/7 service, and for some this can be an issue, so be sure you find out their operating hours before signing.
Do the positives outweigh the negatives?
Well, for the majority, yes, they do.
With the correct consultancy surrounding your migration to Cloud computing there is no reason why you and your team can’t reap the benefits of it.
The lack of control can be a grave concern for many business owners. Take your time in getting to know your provider. A good one will talk you through their data protection policies and procedures and really go out of their way to guide you through the service they offer to be sure it fits your needs.
The reason you pay the monthly subscription for the Cloud is to be sure your data is safe and is protected both physically and digitally, so make sure that you are happy with the service they are offering.
We hope that this impartial view on Cloud computing has opened your eyes to both the positives and negatives of it. In the following article we will explore the pros and cons of on-premise IT, and hopefully guide you to make the right decision for your organization going forward.
Your business – Prepared and Secure
At Grapevine, our team of dedicated engineers can meet any technical challenge you may come across. We take our time in getting to know you, your business, your employees, and your goals for the future so we can then find the best technological solution for you to guarantee constant security and progression. Our years of experience leave us primed and ready with all the tools needed to ensure a top-quality service, now and into the future. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.