To Cloud or not to Cloud – the SMB question.
Does it seem that everyone is moving to the cloud? It is an undeniable general direction which the Internet world seems to be taking users and businesses.
What can be done? Jump on the bandwagon? Resist to the final outdated computer or software? Is it really better? Is it really cost-effective? Consider some basic “cloud thoughts” for small business IT in an Enterprise dominated culture.
- By definition, cloud computing is a kind of Internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. That Wikipedia definition at the start helps us to identify cloud as specifically related to IT infrastructure.
- The full cloud option is to host all of your data and IT infrastructure without outside help – provide your own cloud. All of your servers and the connective/protective elements that make it a network are developed from unique Internet virtual connectivity in the cloud, just like larger Enterprise corporations do. Positive? You have control of your data, your equipment, and your environment. Negative? The cost may not produce an equivalent return. In addition, the time needed to maintain such an investment generally requires multiple staffing solutions.
- If the full cloud option is not acceptable, you could use an outside cloud resource to host both your data and your IT infrastructure. Cloud computing provides a scalable IT infrastructure, secure data hosting center, proactive maintenance and fixed monthly operations cost. Positive? You can quickly scale up or down as the needs of business demand. Negative? It may – depending on the size of your business – still require a good deal of internal management.
- Another possibility, just a step down from full outsourcing, is to keep physical infrastructure on-site, but tap into Cloud computing for off-site back up & disaster recovery, and day-to-day document access storage for regular business need. This solution maximizes the positives and minimizes greatly the negatives. It is an excellent solution for most SMBs.
- We might call the next step a partial cloud solution. At this level your business would maintain control over crucial IT systems, but purchase server space – a private cloud platform that hosts your data while providing full control of the hosted solution. The biggest positive in this scenario is the minimal investment of both time and internal resource while still gaining the benefit of broad access to data from the cloud.
Ask Alliant to provide an analysis of your situation to find a solution that best meets the specific needs of your budget, data compliance requirements, user preferences and necessary peripherals. Call us at 626-461-1300.