You’ve heard about Cloud Computing, but is it right for you and your business?
What is Cloud Computing? Simply put, it means accessing your data and/or software through the Internet using any connected device; PC, laptop, tablet, phone, and so on. You probably are already on the cloud: if you have an email account with Gmail or Yahoo; ever logged onto Facebook or LinkedIn; or checked your bank account balance online; you’ve been cloud computing.
For businesses, the benefits of cloud computing include remote access from anywhere and at anytime and buying only the amount of technology resources you need.
However, not all companies are comfortable with cloud computing and there are many issues, including regulatory/legal and data issues that can affect companies on the cloud. If the primary benefit you want from the cloud is remote access, NoCo Technology Solutions can give you the ability to remotely access your own internal server; anytime, and from anywhere, with excellent security.
If you’d like to discuss your situation to determine whether cloud computing or another alternative is the right one for you, give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you, in plain English, about the options available to you.
NoCo Technology Solutions in Fort Collins provides both Cloud Consulting services and alternative solutions so you can get the most benefit for your business.
Five considerations you should explore before you pursue cloud computing.
Not all companies that move their computing to the cloud save money. Below are some of the issues you need to consider. NoCo Technology Solutions in Fort Collins can help you identify and analyze your situation so you can determine whether cloud computing is a fit for your business:
Identify the Data You Want in the Cloud
For businesses in Colorado and Fort Collins, moving to the cloud isn’t an ‘all or nothing’ project. Maybe it makes sense to move some applications to the cloud, but not all of them. It’s best if you start with a picture of your current IT setup and the functionality that it gives your business. Who needs to access the various software applications? From what location do they need access?
Once you know exactly where you are now, look to the future. Is there something new you want to explore, like email marketing or a prospect database? This could be perfect for the cloud. But if you are looking to only move pieces of your existing IT capability, you want to consider any effects on your other systems. It’s important to make sure a move to the cloud won’t hinder any future integration opportunities.
Confirm your ongoing costs & savings
Many companies selling cloud computing will assure you of cost savings from using a centrally-owned and managed system. However, their calculations start with the assumption that you are purchasing new equipment and software. If you already have a network installed and already own software licenses, the cost savings analysis is quite different. It may be more cost effective to simply refresh or upgrade your servers or use a hybrid solution where some applications are moved to the cloud and others remain in-house. And, if there is still a large amount of technology you want under your roof, cloud computing may not significantly decrease your support costs. We can help you do the homework so you’ll know the costs you’ll be committing to and where any savings will be coming from.
Confirm the flexibility
How flexible is the hosted system? Are you locked into a long-term contract? Can you make changes to accommodate your changing business requirements? If you have seasonal employees, can you increase and decrease your licenses as needed? If you aren’t ready to move to the latest version of your software, can you choose the timing that is best for your business? Know what you can change and what you can’t…and make sure you are OK with any restrictions.
Assess the Cloud Provider’s Security, Backup, & Disaster Recovery Plans
A real value of cloud computing is the ability to be back up and running quickly even if your business location is flooded, hit by a tornado, fire, or any other data disaster. To be sure you don’t need to worry about disk failure or unrecoverable backups at the host’s site, thoroughly review your provider’s agreement regarding their backup policies. Make sure you are comfortable with their level of security for your data. Ask about their last Disaster Recovery test. Make sure your contract includes offsite backup testing. If your cloud provider fails, how would your business survive? NoCo Technology Solutions can help you find the right provider to minimize your risk…
Review your Infrastructure
Your cloud computing solutions must be accessed using your local computers and devices via your internet connection. If your PC is slow, or if you are significantly increasing your internet usage, then your cloud application may be slow or unreliable. Bandwidth is a big consideration for cloud computing and you’ll need to plan for any necessary upgrades. Also consider equipment redundancy, like a backup internet connection or spare router, as any failure in your connectivity will have a larger impact.
Ultimately, for cloud computing to make sense for your business, it must deliver increased business benefits or reduce your IT costs overall without limiting required functionality. We can help you cut through the hype and determine whether the cloud is right for you. If it is, we can help you get the right solution.
Is Cloud For You?
Call us today at 970-223-1885 to schedule a discussion about Cloud Computing in Fort Collins.