Over the last several years, cloud computing has been one of the fastest growing areas in MyITpros’ IT services business. All of our company's servers have been in the cloud since 2009, and we love the flexibility, security and competitive advantages the cloud provides.
In 2012, we installed more on premise than cloud servers for our clients. Why? Because our focus is always on what is best for our clients, and sometimes, the cloud is not the best choice.
Here are some of the reasons cloud servers may not be the best choice for your organization:
1. When Your Headcount Is Small, The Cost Per User May Be Too High
Certain resources must be in place for any company to have its server in the cloud. We have seen organizations with less than 10 users have a much higher cost per user. In this case, an on premise server may be more cost effective.
When you have 10-20 computer users or more, a completely managed solution like Cloud7 can cost close to what many companies spend for support of on premise IT infrastructure.
2. Some Of The Applications You Use May Not Be As Effective In The Cloud
Some applications are very resource intensive, meaning they require a lot of computing power. CAD software (Computer Aided Design) used by many engineering and architecture firms is a great example. The most widely used CAD programs demand computers with very powerful processors, fast hard drives and a lot of memory.
With cloud servers, applications are run on a virtual server in a data center, not on local computers. While it is fast and easy to add resources like additional processing power, memory or hard drive space monthly cost could increase.
While you may be able to run your line of business software, accounting software, email and Microsoft Office applications in a cost effective fashion, some software is just better suited for local computers. At least for now.
3. You Have A Single Office With Few Remote Or Mobile Users
One of the most compelling reasons to implement cloud servers is the superior performance and agility available to remote workers. A single office with little need for remote or mobile computing may not preclude you from moving your server to the cloud, but there will certainly need to be other good reasons to do it.
4. You Have A Static Workforce With Standardized Devices
Many of our CPA clients have standardized computers across all staff. One firm we have served for 20 years is very similar in size now to what it was when we first started supporting its network.
Cloud computing has distinct advantages for companies that are dynamic, especially in periods of growth or cyclical demand. It is much faster, easier and far less expensive to scale up or down when your servers and applications are in the cloud.
With the latest cloud computing technologies, working on Windows based applications from anywhere – on any device including PC, Mac, iPad, Android – has never been easier.
5. You May Not Be Ready For Such A Change
Moving all of your servers, applications and data from your office to the cloud means change, and some organizations – like some people – handle change better than others.
If you’ve had bad experiences with IT projects in the past, you are likely to be very cautious about a change like moving to the cloud.
If you’ve recently invested a lot of money in on premise servers, all of the benefits and agility in the world may not persuade your CFO to change until you’ve amortized that capital expense for a few years.
If you’re wondering whether cloud computing is the best choice for you, I strongly recommend you work with a knowledgeable advisor that understands your business and has your best interests at heart. Talk to other companies like yours. They don’t have to be in the same business, but should be similar in size and in the way they use computers in their work.
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