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What Does the Cloud Mean for My Business?

Cloud technology enables companies to access IT infrastructure, software and hardware to use applications and other resources such as your web hosting, email and shared documents all managed by third-party providers. It can help businesses increase their efficiency and save money on software and hardware that is crucial to operating. But cloud computing systems and services largely depend on the needs of a particular business. And no two businesses are the same. This can make it difficult to understand what cloud computing means for your business. Let’s break down a few pieces of the puzzle when discussing the cloud.

How Does it Work for an IT Department?

It can be a little difficult to theorize how migrating to the cloud can impact your IT department. XaaS and cloud don’t manage themselves. It is unlikely it will eliminate your company’s need for an IT Manager, but it will adjust the role and responsibilities of a manager and their team.

Why Should I Move to the Cloud? (Benefits for You)

Organizations who use cloud computing services experience several advantages that improve their business operations such as:

  • Up-to-Data Software: No longer does your internal team need to schedule manual updates or dial in remote to each application needing to be addressed. Cloud management allows you to maintain the latest versions instantly.
  • Eliminate Capital Expense Budgeting: With cloud you pay for the space on an as-needed basis. With such flexibility, you can scale it up or down as your needs change.
  • Guaranteed Performance: Put the onus of reliability on a third-party provider. Most contracts from cloud providers offer Service Level Agreements that promise guaranteed up-times.
  • 24/7 Access Across the Globe: Access your network anytime, anywhere you have an Internet connection. This is great for working remotely or managing a distributed team.

When Should I Move?

So, you’re thinking about moving some (or maybe all) of your IT systems to the cloud. But when? Are you in need of new software or a system infrastructure overhaul? This is a great time to look into cloud services as a way to reduce your amount of onsite equipment and streamline your data infrastructure. One of the cloud’s most valuable benefits is its scalability. As your business grows over time, you won’t have to worry about expensive upgrades to your infrastructure.

What Option is Best for Me?

There are different options for cloud services and which method you ultimately choose depends on your business needs.

Public – A public cloud’s services and its infrastructure are provided off-site. This type of cloud offers computing, storage, and networking resources that are shared among organizations. But be aware that a public cloud is more vulnerable than private cloud options. A public cloud is a good choice for:

  • Organizations who want auto-scaling environments for data storage and large application hosting.

Private – A private cloud’s infrastructure and services are maintained on a private network located either on-premise or hosted remotely. This type of environment offers the best level of control and security because the infrastructure is dedicated to one single organization. However, they usually still require being managed by an internal, on-premise team or management can be outsourced to a remote cloud host/provider. A private cloud is a good choice for:

  • Organizations in highly regulated industries that need strict data privacy and security levels.
  • Your business needs demand greater adaptability, configurability, and flexibility.

Hybrid – A hybrid cloud is just how it sounds. It includes a combination of on-premise, private or public clouds with multiple providers. With this model, you will keep various aspects of your business in its most efficient environment to be successful. The downside is that it’s inherently more complex to set up and management requirements. You will have to keep track of multiple security platforms and make sure everything can and does communicate with each other. A hybrid cloud is a good choice for:

  • Organizations that need the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud but the security of the private cloud. Critical data can be hosted on the private cloud while the public cloud can host application development and testing.
  • Your business offers service specific to different markets. You can use a public cloud to interact with customers and also keep their data secure with a private cloud.

Where Should I Start?

Take the first step with a cloud readiness assessment of your business to maximize the value cloud can have for you with an analysis and personalized recommendation.