You’ve probably heard the buzz about cloud computing these days and the hype that usually follows a new technology to the point of overkill, but if you own or operate a business that is financially and technologically strained, or looking to save space and your IT budget, this could be your inexpensive pot of gold at the end of a normally pricey rainbow. Gartner Research has projected an increase in Cloud services delivery from $41 billion in 2011 to over $148 billion in 2014.
What Is ‘The Cloud’?
‘The Cloud’ is a “hosted business environment” that allows a company to have their information technology environment located off-site in a secured data center and accessed via the internet. This includes most capital IT infrastructure such as network server platforms, business applications, and data storage and disaster recovery resources.
Cloud computing is the delivery of ‘computing-as-a-service’ rather than by specific products; shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network, typically the Internet. Some of the benefits of cloud computing are:
- Business applications are up and running faster, with easier manageability and less maintenance,
- IT resources (such as servers, storage, and networking) can rapidly adjust to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand,
- Major technology refreshes and capital investments every 3-4 years are ELIMINATED,
- IT resources can be ‘rented’ on an as-used or as-needed basis, making IT a monthly operational cost much like a subscription,
- IT can be scaled to meet changing business needs quicker and cheaper than with on-premise environments,
- Businesses can leverage ‘state of the art’ IT resources more cost effectively than in the past without a major investment.
Who Handles ‘The Cloud’?
The option of more flexibility and lower costs has grabbed the attention of many business owners, and over the last 3 years, several technology vendors have gone from beta testing to full production while expanding offerings to include cloud-computing platforms and operating systems. ‘Technology leaders and visionaries have wholeheartedly embraced the cloud, and it’s an indication that it’s here to stay,’ says Harrah.
Cloud computing is still very new, and the way it is being deployed requires a different skill set then the on-premise technology it is starting to replace. Hiring an IT consultant that is well-versed in an array of cloud capabilities, such as The Network Co. of California, can be the difference between a well set-up and managed cloud infrastructure, and a complete failure that will cause costly realignment.
‘The Cloud’ For Your Business
Cloud computing gives you the power to significantly reduce capital IT expenditures, recurring IT maintenance costs, energy costs, staff support costs, and improve efficiency by providing business class IT services for a predictable monthly fee. Cloud solutions offer flexibility, scale quickly to meet growing demands, reduce business continuity risk, and provide mobile access from around the globe.
The biggest concerns about cloud computing are security and privacy. Privacy issues arise when a client logs in from any location to access data and applications; there is a possibility that the client’s privacy could be compromised. However, companies offering cloud computing services live and die by their reputations, and it’s in their best interest to employ the most advanced techniques to protect their client’s data. Using authorization formats or authentication techniques can easily alleviate these issues.
Cloud computing makes sense for many companies, but don’t expect to shut down everything and immediately move to the cloud. A normal small business deployment with 2 servers and approximately 20 workstations can take up to 30 days to implement. TNCC provides a full range of services to help your company take advantage of what the cloud has to offer.
For more information about ‘The Cloud’ and how TNCC can successfully implement it’s benefits into your business, contact Paul Storck at email@example.com or call 760-744-0442.
Join us next month as we focus on what your company needs to consider before you take the plunge into ‘The Cloud’.
* Fred Harrah, CEO of The Network Co. of California (TNCC), a San Diego IT consulting company, has fielded his fair share of client questions regarding this trend and puts the basics in a simple format for you. First in a series to be continued monthly.