22 Jun Is your data backup appropriate to the way you work now?
The world is still in the midst of its worst health epidemic in a century, with the ripple effects it has had on businesses worldwide expected to be felt for many years to come.
Many businesses – thankfully – found a way to continue trading. Introducing the Cloud – the Cloud allows your employees to continue as normal in a remote setting, all whilst still having access to the important sensitive data that allows them to complete their role. The Cloud is an IT component – whether hardware, software, or storage which is based offsite and used on an access basis, it is paying for a service as opposed to the infrastructure behind it that needs to be managed by yourself (traditional IT).
The Cloud has rapidly become the more popular option worldwide, and its appealing features have persuaded many business owners to convert from traditional ‘on-premise’ IT to the Cloud. These features will be highlighted throughout this blog.
The Cloud isn’t suitable for everyone’s needs though, as some businesses still need their on-premise IT infrastructure, and some would even suit a hybrid of both on-premise IT and the Cloud. This can be down to primary business functions taking place within the on-premise IT; functions that without an internet connection would be impossible in the Cloud.
It can be a very difficult task to choose one system without knowing the benefits of both. We will now explore the benefits of the Cloud and on-premise IT and help you to make a revised decision on your migration.
The Cloud – The positives
The Cloud ensures your data is safe from the most common of threats, failure, and disruption that can impact traditional on-premise IT. It is, however, advisable to ensure you have more copies hosted elsewhere on alternative services – further mitigating the risk of loss, deletion, or (in the worst-case scenario) theft.
Collaboration in the Cloud is great. It gives you the ability to communicate and share from anywhere, all with the freedom that minimal IT infrastructure and complications can offer. Cloud collaboration allows employees, no matter their geographical location, to work on the same document at the same time.
The Cloud gives you the opportunity to scale your operation either up or down at will, as providers offer instant flexibility in the resources they provide. In this way you can meet the demands of your business as you grow or shrink, allowing you to evolve and scale overnight, keep things affordable, and be certain that the tools you are using are as effective as they can be.
> Business continuity
Protecting your data and systems by backing up to the Cloud plays an important part of business continuity planning. It is essential that you can access your data again quickly in the wake of a crisis – the Cloud allows you to conduct business as usual whilst minimising loss of productivity and any downtime.
> The reduced cost
The Cloud can completely remove the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems. The Cloud can save you money in many different ways, with most providers including system upgrades, new hardware, and software in your monthly payments as opposed to your having to do it yourself at additional cost. It can even save you money on wages – bearing in mind that before the Cloud you may have needed dedicated professionals to support the original on-premise IT (those professionals will no longer be needed when operating via the Cloud).
All of the above will save you time, money, and boost productivity for you and your team now and into the future.
But, the Cloud doesn’t come without its downsides. Let’s take a closer look at them now.
The Cloud – The downsides
> Internet connection dependency
One of the key concerns of Cloud computing is the dependency on a constant internet connection. With very little – or no – data stored or cached locally, you are practically entirely reliant on your internet connection for access to data and services that are hosted. Your downtime could be huge if you experience a loss of connection.
> The loss of control
In choosing the Cloud you are fully trusting a third party to take care of your data. Your regulatory obligations may demand that you c. You should ask yourself questions such as “Are their data centres secure both physically and online?”.
Once having made the transition to the Cloud, if you get an issue you will no longer be able to resolve it yourself but must instead rely upon your hosted provider’s technical support. Some do not offer round the clock services and that fact can be a major problem for a business that operates 24/7.
You simply have to ask yourself whether the positives outweigh the negatives?
And the answer predominantly is “yes”.
There are potential considerations with the Cloud that may seem problematic, and this is understandable – however, the positives dramatically outweigh the negatives. These concerns can all be effectively managed if you migrate to the Cloud correctly.
Do your homework! Be certain you find a good Hosted services provider; they will help you develop a business continuity plan to map out the potential risks and explain how their support and services can help you navigate around any threats.
Understandably, the lack of control concerns you, so you must be certain to talk one-on-one with a representative that can address your access concerns. They will go through the details with you and ease your worries. Take the time to assess the measures your service provider has in place to ensure the safety of your data when it is stored in Cloud servers.
It is also potentially nerve racking on realising that you will be reliant on tech support. You pay the Cloud fees so that you can be sure that your data is in a secure location and is maintained and protected both physically and interactively. Be certain that your Cloud service provider operates between the hours in which you are using your systems or, even better, 24/7 to allow you the opportunity to contact them at any time. Giving up control can be difficult – but if you see it as time that has been released for you and your team to be more productive it has great advantages.
As we mentioned earlier, some businesses still rely on on-premise IT in order to continue trading, and others will need a hybrid of the two. In the next part of the blog we will explore the positives and negatives of on-premise IT.
On-premise – The positives
> Accessibility no matter the circumstances
Your internet connection can drop and you can still have accessibility, which in turn means no downtime.
> No vendor dependency
The world we live in is an uncertain one. For example, your vendor may go out of business which could raise problems when it comes to implementing a solution.
On-premise – The negatives
> Upfront investment and costs of upgrades
The upfront cost required with on-premise IT can be enormous. The hardware, software, and other services are expensive to keep running – that, along with the fact that they only have a lifespan of around five years on average, means budgeting for large capital expenditure on a regular basis. If your infrastructure becomes dated in those five years you will have received much less return on investments from your IT than originally anticipated. All upgrades to remedy this will likely be costly.
> Limited scale
The process of scaling is made very difficult and expensive, and can even cause serious downtime. As we have previously stated, Cloud services can stretch or shrink to your demands at the click of a finger, whereas on-premise IT doesn’t have that ability.
As we have explored, both Cloud IT and on-premise IT offer positives but both also have negative attributes. Your choice on which to choose should be based entirely on what is best for your business; what sector it resides in, its size, your ambition, and a multitude of other factors. Every business is different so, unfortunately, we can’t tell you which is best for you in this blog article as every aspect of your business needs to be considered.
Make an educated decision based on your own business functionality. Ask for advice from a recommended Cloud provider and in turn find out what can help your business thrive now and into the future.
Managing your IT landscape so you don’t have to
We are a Cloud services provider, so we understand the apprehension that many feel before making the leap to Cloud computing. We take the reins when conducting your transition, allowing your company to enjoy the advanced opportunities it has to offer. We are proud to provide top quality services to our customers, preventing business disruption that can be caused by tech problems. We can assist you in deciding what approach is best for you, a full transition to Cloud computing and all the positives that come with it, an on-premise managed solution, or a hybrid of the two – whatever the case we will be sure to establish the right solution for you. Alongside our expertise in Cloud computing, our experienced and knowledgeable team at Apogee Solutions perform proactive monitoring of servers and workstations, fixing problems remotely, and dealing with security issues.
Get in contact now and see how – with the right tools, and education around their use – you and your team can take your next step into the future of IT.