Your company most likely already has a significant portion of operations and back office systems hosted in the cloud. This ranges from simply using a file sharing system like Google Drive or Dropbox to share files to having your SQL Server and business applications hosted in a data-center environment and everything in between. As your business increasingly relies on data and remote access to data and systems, it is an innovative idea to consider eliminating servers in your facilities and moving to a cloud environment. Here are 8 reasons to consider moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud.

1. Leveraging an Enterprise Level IT Environment

Forget about the “IT & Finance” advice below for a moment. Cloud computing provides operators access to the Best in Class available IT infrastructure and resources for their business.

What does it cost when any of your systems are down? Money, resources, time, sales? What shortcomings are you tolerating regarding speed, accessibility, features? What are you ignoring regarding redundant equipment, backups, virus protection, licensing? Is this acceptable? Of course not.

Having a professional cloud infrastructure allows your operations and IT team to focus on using IT to automate and accelerate business processes, rather than waiting for reports to load because the server needs more resources.

2. Most applications CAN be moved to the cloud.

Yes, you can host your accounting applications, vend management systems, warehouse management systems, logistics systems and office applications in the cloud.

3. Costs

The biggest misconception is that cloud computing is cost prohibitive. See the chart at the end of this article for a comparison of in-house infrastructure expenses vs. hosted expense.

  • In addition to the Capital expense of the servers and Operating Systems, annual costs exist for the hardware, same day warranty, and OS support. You also must pay for the rack, electricity, cooling, and staff to set it up and support it.
  • Cloud hosting provides a flexible monthly payment model that is predictable and scalable.
  • Are your hardware same day support agreements in place? Is your Microsoft Licensing in compliance?

4. Security

Many companies are currently being plagued by ransomware attacks that are being downloaded in e-mails on local computers and have local IT teams scratching their heads. These cyberthreats move across the local network and attack local computers and servers. Applications require access to Internet resources more than ever for integrations and provide increased exposure to cyberthreats.

  • Cloud servers are protected by enterprise level security devices that will reduce the threat footprint while applying policies to block both known and unknown threats.
  • Cloud IT management teams are more exposed to cyberthreats and will respond proactively to protect your network.
  • Appropriately building out your cloud infrastructure ensures that each of your applications is appropriately setup and segregated in secure zones.

5. Backup

Ever lose all your data? This can range from that Excel sheet that you didn’t save and had to reenter a few hours of work, the e-mail you wish you could access from last year, all the way to catastrophic database failure and the loss of mission critical systems and databases.

  • Cloud backup is now an affordable option for companies of all sizes.
  • Cloud infrastructures leverage professional backup appliances such as Barracuda or Arcserve for optimal backup and recovery functionality.

6. Upgrades & Scalability

Many operations consider moving to the cloud when a new server, networking device or phone system are required in the business. Every new device or server installed in-house immediately begins to go stale once purchased and immediately reduces available resources once installed.

  • Moving to the cloud eliminates the need to purchase servers.
    i. Do you have same day warrantee service for hardware that is non-redundant?
  • Flexible application of resources allows companies to grow without having to buy new servers, migrate to larger hard drives, add memory, etc.
  • Companies adding branches or moving facilities will not require extensive IT projects to move servers or add facilities.

7. Accessibility

Today more companies are taking advantage of remote resources, from working at home to leveraging remote consultants.

  • Cloud computing easily allows secure, controlled, remote access to systems and files for remote users without complicated software installations or setup.

8. Improved Connectivity

Internet connectivity has improved vastly over the past ten years. Long gone are the very expensive days when companies were required to install multiple T-1’s, a T-3 line or point to point networks.

  • Business class Internet services provided by phone and cable companies are more than sufficient to support cloud computing and Internet based phone systems.
  • Having multiple providers can provide redundant connections, reducing the concern of Internet down time.
  • Multi-branch operations, with servers in one branch, can shut down the whole company if one branch is down. In a cloud environment, if a branch loses Internet, business can still be conducted company wide and employees can work remotely and sync devices remotely while the branch repairs its connection.

IN HOUSE INFRASTRUCTURE EXPENSE TO HOSTED EXPENSE COMPARISON
Cloud Cost Comparison