What does that even mean? Well, the reason you might not know is that the cloud is a term used to cover a great many things. It generally means using the Internet to host your infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or software as a service (SaaS). If you are a small business you would probably be more interested in SaaS and IaaS. Especially, if you already have a client-server configuration in place.
An example of SaaS would be Office 365, Google Docs or QuickBooks online. An example of IaaS would be hosting one of your production servers at a service provider such as AWS or Azure. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just move your file server out into the cloud. For cloud services to be cost effective you really have to change your philosophy and focus on user centric usage instead of server centric usage. At the same time, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your file server. There are some private cloud solutions that mix the best of both worlds.
Are you ready for the cloud?
There are some things to take into consideration before you even think about moving into the cloud.
- Do you have reliable high-speed access at your location? Even if you think you do, we may need to run a few tests to make sure. You may also need a backup internet connection if you plan to rely mostly on cloud services. What happens when the internet is down?
- Is your network and endpoint security adequate? You need to take steps to make sure your business location is secure before moving your data anywhere else. If you do move information to a cloud service, you must take extra steps to make sure it is secure since it is now on the internet.
- Are your users ready? Sometimes this can be a stumbling block because using cloud services is different than the client-server structure that people have been using for many years. Cloud services can be very user-centric.
- Is your wireless network ready? Extra devices on the wireless may require increasing your coverage and network. You should also take steps to provide secure and controlled internet to your employees and possibly your customers.
Do you need to move to the cloud?
- Do you want to have access to your documents, data and applications outside the office?
- Do you need access to your files on different devices (PC, Phone, Laptop) ?
- Do you want to easily share files with other people outside your business?
If they answer is yes to any of these, it is time to start planning.
Contact us and we can set up an appointment to review your current configuration and help you determine a path for your business.