Many small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) have made the move to cloud computing. On the other hand, there are those that consider the cloud an unnecessary expense since you pay for services on an ongoing basis. Some say that they prefer not to hand over the management of their IT infrastructure, including critical data, to a little-known third party. And they may have a point. How can the cloud be cheaper than making a one-time investment in a server of your own? Can a cloud provider be trusted with your data and ensure that it is regularly backed up?
The answer to these questions comes in with a resounding ‘yes’. By shopping around for a trusted vendor who will keep your data safe and sound, you can save a fortune in the long run. Here you can check out the top 10 ways that cloud computing will save your SMB money.
- Hardware costs
Hardware such as servers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices don’t come cheap nor do they last forever. By storing and backing up your data in the cloud, you significantly reduce your IT capital expenditure.
- Hardware failure
Machines break, this we all know. If your hardware fails, you’re left out in the cold, even if you have the luxury of affording a redundant server. Failed hardware means downtime and downtime is expensive. Using virtualisation which underpins cloud computing means the risk of your IT systems going down is close to none.
- Software costs
More money! Yes, you have to pay for software too. Again, with technology advancing at a phenomenal rate, it’s likely that the software you buy today will be yesterday’s news tomorrow. Part of most cloud offerings is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) meaning you negate any expense for this component of your IT infrastructure.
Your hardware needs to be maintained and repaired. Software needs to be installed and continually patched and updated. And who does this? Usually, IT engineers that come with a hefty price tag. In the cloud world, your vendor is responsible for all hardware and software maintenance, saving you a bundle on employing IT professionals.
- Limited capacity
Having your systems onsite means you could experience limited capacity somewhere down the road. As your business expands, so will your data storage needs. Exceeding your data capacity is a costly logistical nightmare for in-house only IT operations. Using the cloud means you can scale up your storage as and when you need to.
- 24/7 operation
These days 24/7 operation of your IT network is a given. Is your SMB large enough to afford around the clock in-house IT monitoring and IT support? Probably not. With a cloud-based IT architecture, you are guaranteed automated, 24/7 system management through your provider’s Network Operations Centre (NOC).
- Data security
It’s a toss-up deciding which your most valuable company asset is: your employees or your data? Nevertheless, your irreplaceable data must be protected with the latest cybersecurity software. This means drawing on skilled IT support and investing in expensive virus and malware protection. Your cloud provider is able to spread the cost of data security among many customers, thereby offering a level of operational security that you can only dream off. Cloud providers also safeguard data by having multiple data centres that facilitate data replication.
- Flexibility and mobility
The cloud means your employees can access data and applications from any location, using any computing device, and at any time of the day or night. What could be more mobile or flexible for your business than this? Flexibility and mobility of data access clearly equate to operational efficiency, productivity and cost saving.
- Power and space
Idle technology wastes power and takes up space, both of which cost you money. With cloud computing, servers are consolidated. This means cutting energy costs and saving space for you and your provider. With reduced bills for real estate, electricity and equipment, you have money to allocate to developmental projects. The cloud vendor, on the other hand, creates a much small footprint on the environment.
- Disaster recovery
We said that cloud computing is based on virtualisation in which the contents of an entire server, including the operating system, applications and data, exist as a single software bundle or virtual server. This server, which is hardware independent, can quickly and easily be backed up and replicated on virtual hosts. Should disaster strike, recovery time is significantly less than conventional disaster recovery methods. With the cloud, your data is rapidly restored and you’re back to business in no time.
Your local Managed Service Provider (MSP) will find the best cloud solution for your SMB today. They can recommend a preferred mix of hybrid private and public cloud, with bespoke system design and implementation. Simplify your IT by moving to the cloud. It’s something neither you or your bank balance will regret.