There is a meme that was being shared widely on social media. It pictured a guy looking up at a big cloud in the sky while it was raining. The caption asked, “So—when it rains like that, am I losing my data?”
Our team here at Cyber Ascend Technologies has heard the voice of that meme before! We hear it from prospective clients who, while looking for managed IT service providers and outsourced business services, end up evaluating cloud services. They have heard about “the cloud”, they know a lot of businesses are “using it”, but they are both uncertain as to what it is, and more importantly, why they should trust it.
The cloud can be utilized in varying ways, and we can help set up the implementation that is customized for your needs. Cloud services can incorporate storage and/or computing. Some companies use it as an external storage server from which files and data are accessed as needed. Users are generally unaware that the files are coming from an external source as opposed to a server physically sitting in the office. Cloud computing provides the full replication of your computing experience including applications, software, and computing power as well as all your data, with the added benefit that you do not need to maintain the hardware yourself.
Additionally, cloud providers typically have redundant data centers in different regions, meaning a natural or human-caused disaster is extremely unlikely to interfere with your operation. Aside from cloud-hosted servers, synchronization services like Dropbox can be considered “cloud” as well. Synchronization services should not be relied upon for backup functions, however, since the technology is not comprehensive and if corruption occurs, there may not be an effective data replacement process in place. It is always best to have a distinct cloud backup solution for your servers and workstations to maximize the likelihood of data restoration after a disaster.
In the past, a small business would often hire an IT associate to set up and manage their on-premises system. That person would purchase a company-owned hardware system, load up the software, manage the storage infrastructure, handle software licensing, and protect it all. The task asked of this person was huge. They had to be adept at allowing the system to scale to the needs of the business, and they had to become experts at security risks and methodologies of protection. The IT associate had to know everything about all the applications and all the new versions of those applications as they rolled out. The requirements for that physical on-site system, in our current IT demand environment, are realistically, far too much for any one person to manage.
This is where the cloud becomes incredibly convenient.
Now that cloud solutions have become far more affordable, all the benefits of exceptionally large data centers, such as redundant sources of power, multiple network connections and an army of engineers are easily available to even smaller businesses. We will guide you in the implementation of your applications and data in that environment so that your data and systems are more secure and more effective than you could ever afford to do on your own.
While some worry that trusting a cloud solution platform is “putting all their eggs in one basket” it brings a plethora of expertise far beyond what your sole IT manager could provide alone. Your internal system is more expensive and a huge risk. If further backup is a concern, additional third-party vendors who offer software as a service (SAAS) can be utilized to hold redundancy of your data at yet another location as well.
There is a shift in the cost of ownership when you go to a cloud solution. Your previous IT costs, as being capital expenses that are amortized over several years and will be depreciated, are shifted to an operational expense model.
During implementation, we can give you the option of a “lift and shift” process where your data and computing systems are moved exactly as you have known them, to their new cloud platform. Under this plan, you and your employees will experience minor differences from what they have always known.
They experience the same functions, same data access configurations, now with enormous protection and troubleshooting if something goes wrong.
Another option, if your business culture is open to it, is to allow your team to undergo a paradigm shift to organizing under a new web structure. Move your data and applications in such a way that there is a vast improvement in how your staff can interact with it, organize it, and collaborate on it. Your data can be more agile, useful, and impactful than ever before.