For most businesses, it’s always a difficult decision – should we use in-house servers so we can keep all of our information close, or should we focus on using cloud services to handle the load?
On the one hand, of course you always want your information close to you. There’s a sense of safety and security in having your servers behind closed doors in your building. Of course, this comes with a cost – actually costs, plural.
First of all, do you have the space in your building for servers? Can you keep that area cool enough? Have you hired enough IT professionals to run these servers full time and can react when something goes wrong? All of this costs money.
Cloud services, on the other hand, provide scalable, economical network structures. Your company might not need three or four servers. In fact, there’s a chance you could use cloud services to completely streamline your business.
Here are six reasons why you definitely should invest in cloud services for your business.
Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors – it’s not surprising that CIOs and IT Directors rank ‘operational agility’ as a top driver for cloud adoption.
At the same time, getting the resources you need when you need them tends to shorten IT projects, resulting in less full-time employees to deliver the project and a quicker and more predictive time-to-market. Being able to deliver results faster, cheaper, and with more quality might just give your business a competitive edge. Data analytics projects could be reduced from four months to just three weeks, reducing the projects time-to-market and overall cost significantly.
Backing up your data is critical, but it’s probably one of the first responsibilities to get put on the back-burner by the daily demands of running your own business. It’s a mistake that can cost you dearly.
Data loss prevention is important even (especially) in a small business, where if someone steals your data, you’re out of business pretty quick.
For that reason, cloud services are indispensable. Your data will be automatically backed up off-site, ensuring your files are protected if your business’s primary systems suffer a power outage, natural disaster or egregious human error.
Business-class providers also typically offer comprehensive security, ranging from anti-virus and malware protection to advanced data encryption and feature that help address compliance standards such as HIPAA, PCI and other common regulatory standards.
The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later – usually sooner – you end up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles.
And as even the smallest companies become more global, the scope for complication rises. According to one study, “73 percent of workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly.”
When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone sees most updated version. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line. If you’re still relying on the old way, it could be time to try something a little more streamlined.
Utilizing standardized services can significantly reduce issues and defects. This increases business continuity and reduce time spent on operational issues, focusing more on the things that matter. Cloud computing allows you to deploy the same service or topology of services repetitively, with the same result every time. This allows organizations to deploy pre-build server images, application services, or entire application landscapes defined using design patterns.
On the other side of the “business agility” model, more efficient projects and less operational issues allow your employees to spend their time on other more useful activities that may offer a greater potential value to your business. This benefit is different for every organization and harder to quantify, but people are an organizations biggest asset and this allows you to better utilize this asset.
Another take on better resource usage is based on the fact the principle of “economies of scale;” cloud service providers, in general, more efficiently utilize physical resources and reduce energy consumption in contract to a traditional IT approach.
The barrier of entry to quality products to run your business has been a problem for a long time. For example, to get a single tool you have to acquire hardware, software, and installation assistance for an on-premises solution with a massive upfront cost that is often cost prohibitive for a small business. With monthly subscription fees for Office 365, you get to eliminate that upfront cost and leverage the best-of-breed, always up-to-date suite of services rather than just one tool.
Cloud service providers, such as Swift Services, offer pay-per-user plans that can scale according to your business needs. Add users as your business grows, and if a new hire doesn’t work out, just disable their account and cut that cost.
You’ll also save on other capital expenses. By moving some of your infrastructure to the cloud, you’ll reduce the costs of IT equipment, upgrades and support. And because the service provider takes care of the back end, you save both the money and time required for doing your own IT maintenance.
As you see, there is much more to cloud computing than technology alone. The true power of cloud is what the technology, implementing rapidly deployed services in the cloud, can mean for your business.
At Swift, we have a proven track record of providing virtual private cloud services for regional and Maryland business customers through our own state-of-the-art data centers. Regardless of whether you’re a large or small business, we design and implement set-it-and-forget-it information systems and virtual private cloud computing solutions that offer universal access and allow companies to focus on what they do best.
For information on how Swift can help your business, contact us and we’ll be more than happy to show you more benefits of using cloud services for your business.
IT systems are foundational to modern businesses. Too often, that foundation is unsteady. Unpredictable outages, insecure networks, and unreliable performance from mission-critical systems can jeopardize your entire business.
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