As promised in my previous blog, today I want to give you a bit of insight into barebones IT cloud infrastructure. Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll be able to decide whether or not the cloud is for you now, in 12 months’ time or never (at your own peril).
The term cloud is thrown around willy-nilly, with the majority of people not actually understanding the complete picture before they sign off.
Cloud is a very broad term and can mean many different things. Cloud covers solutions such as Dropbox and Gmail, but can also mean Managed Infrastructure as a Service (MIaaS) where your virtual servers are hosted with a cloud service provider.
The above situation is best explained as taking your current server, picking it up (virtually), and putting it into a multimillion dollar cloud fortress (data centre). Here are six benefits you can gain:
1. Environmental disasters
The most obvious is you no longer have to worry about environmental disasters that literally cripple businesses worldwide every year. An amazing statistic shows over 80% of businesses affected by natural disasters never actually recover and ultimately go broke.
Elasticity is another big benefit for businesses, particularly start-ups and small businesses which are unable to properly forecast growth of their business. With the cloud, you can dynamically add or reduce the amount of resources in your IT Infrastructure month to month, saving unnecessary costs in the early stages of a business.
3. Platform independence
The most recognised benefit of the cloud is that you are able to operate your business from any location and any device. This enables you to be agile and work efficiently from a beach in Thailand or your office at home. Businesses should really evaluate this as more people will be looking for flexibility around work hours and location.
As a cloud migration specialist, I’m often asked about security. A common misconception about the cloud is that it literally is up in the air for anyone to see. This is so far from the truth it’s not funny.
Cloud infrastructure is physical. Our servers at divestIT operate out of a state of the art data centre, coined “the fortress”, which for any business is far more secure than an onsite server could ever be. Security is the least of your worries in the cloud. Would you rather $1 million under your desk or in a bank account?
5. Server upgrades
With the cloud you never have to worry about server hardware upgrades.
At the moment, I bet you operate with a server in house (if you’re not already on the cloud). As a rule of thumb – every three years you will have to upgrade that server and go through the pain of sizing, procuring and migrating into a new environment. This is a huge expense that not many people consider when making the decision to move to the cloud.
Have you ever experienced hardware issues where your infrastructure has failed? Even if you haven’t, it’s a real possibility in today’s world.
What does this mean? Business downtime. With cloud infrastructure – business continuity is key. If you experience problems in the cloud you can have your business up and running again in the time it takes to make a coffee. Internally, you may have to wait days until a proper solution is reached.
Where to from here?
I hope this article clears up some common misconceptions that hold many businesses back from entering a cloud environment when they really should. As you can see, there are many benefits to the cloud, including (not mentioned above) the potential ability to reduce your IT business costs depending on your current situation.
If you’d like to have a more in-depth discussion about your new understanding of the cloud, please do not hesitate to email me at [email protected]. I’d be more than happy to arrange a time to call and discuss your queries in further detail.