Is “The Cloud” Right For My Business?
First of all, we need to define what “The Cloud” actually means. There are almost as many definitions as there are cloud solutions, but one definition explains it all – “The Cloud refers to any computing power or data storage that you utilize that exists outside the confines of your business and is not in your direct control.” Most cloud services are rented on a monthly basis. Much like leasing a car, you are paying to use the hardware or service without ever owning it.
Some applications are a perfect fit for a cloud-based solution. The first is email. Email plays a critical role in business communication and just like the telephone has matured to the level of a utility solution.
The next best fit for the cloud is data backup. Unless you are backing up your data in a secure offsite location, you really do not have a backup. In years gone past, these offsite backups were often tapes brought to someone’s home at night, or worse, left in their car. Today, laws and common sense have caused most companies to seek a more secure and more automatic process to reduce the risk of data theft and failure caused by human error.
Cloud backup comes in two primary forms; The first utilizing a backup program that sends your information up to a secure cloud location on a nightly basis. This works well for a low risk operation with a small amount of data. The more sophisticated version utilizes an onsite device, often referred to as a BDR (Backup & Data Recover) device. Your company’s servers are backed up every hour to this device and sent off to the cloud as a second form of backup. This solution offers much faster file recovery times and the BDR device can temporarily act as a virtual version of your file server in the event of a crash.
There is also cloud-based file sharing. Using programs like Dropbox Business, Microsoft SharePoint, or Microsoft Teams, your staff can share files across various devices whether in the office or on the road. The type of data and the type of regulations that your business must comply with play a key factor in the selection of a file sharing platform.
Finally, there is cloud hosting of your company’s servers and infrastructure. While there is a lot of hype around the cloud, hosting your entire infrastructure can be quite costly. So many factors need to be considered that you should consult our team before diving in. Is the cloud right for your business? Find out more at our service page.