Everything you need to know about the cloud
Whether your computing resources suffer from outdated functionality or excessive costs, cloud technology solutions offer a competitive alternative. They complement the cost efficiency of bulk computing power with the efficiency of sharing highly experienced specialists among multiple users. The result is data in the format you want, when and where it is needed.
What is the cloud?
Think of cloud solutions as external computing technology resources you can access without having to install or manage them in your own space. You have probably already experienced cloud technology benefits through social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn, or Web-based email services such as Gmail.
Cloud technology solutions provide the benefit of advanced hardware and software capabilities accessible through a company network of the Internet, without requiring you to implement or finance a complete new installation.
How does the cloud work?
Cloud services can be as basic as “renting” space and networking bandwidth on a remote server to install and run your own software solutions. Or they can include comprehensive hardware, software, and services capable of supporting your entire operations, fully managed by a cloud solutions provider for a monthly service fee.
Whichever approach you choose, ensure that it can support your data volume and access requirements with the following features:
- Flexibility to adapt to spikes in demand or future growth.
- Backup and disaster recovery to assure continuous accessibility even if the primary system goes down.
- Automatic software updates to keep pace with industry standards.
- Remote access for increased collaboration regardless of how your staff accesses the resources.
- Security protection for network access and stored data.
Is the cloud safe?
With the right cloud technology solutions, your information and IT architecture can be completely secure and compliant with leading industry standards. Yet, because the expense of that protection is shared among multiple clients, it can be less costly than protecting your own in-house systems.
Compare the advantages
As the pace of business quickens, competitive pressures accelerate, and technology evolves, the ways you evaluate cost and Return on Investment (ROI) are changing, too. Here are some potential points to compare when investigating cloud technology solutions vs. in-house resources:
- Pay as you go. Pay for core processing power and data storage as needed, at a known monthly cost, without investing in resources than can quickly become obsolete, and without compromising the ability to grow if required.
- Gain economy of scale. Tap the experience of your hosting company’s hardware, software, and security specialists at a fraction of the cost of employing your own.
- Ramp up quickly. Access new storage or processing capabilities during seasonal periods of high demand, without long lead times or capital expense.
- Get affordable access to specialized solutions. Being able to evaluate cloud based software and cloud database solutions in advance helps ensure that your business computing needs can be satisfied at known cost.
- Reduce overhead. Avoiding on-site ownership of computing resources cuts costs for specialized facilities, maintenance, training, and support services.
Embrace the change
Fear of cloud based technology solutions is easing as cloud services built on proven systems generate positive experiences. Large cloud solutions providers such as Microsoft Azure have proven the reliability and value of managed server resources that provide economies of scale. As with any business investment, let ROI be a driving factor behind any move to the cloud.
Compare your options
Compare the performance advantages to be gained by migrating to cloud solutions for business. Whether you are concerned about tactical tools such as Office 365 or strategic systems such Microsoft Dynamics 365, cloud based technology offers the ability to enhance capabilities without breaking your budget.
Ask an AlfaPeople cloud solutions consultant to help you make a point-by point comparison with your current in-house resources.