Your business will likely benefit from the cloud if the following characteristics apply to your operations.
Remote or Highly Mobile Workforce
This may be the most compelling reason for a small or midsize business to relocate its servers to the cloud. Having an on-site server at every remote location your business operates multiplies your costs – not just for hardware, but also for physical space to house the machines. And if you have a highly mobile workforce, cloud computing makes it much easier for them to access the resources they need no matter where they are via the web.
Need to Reduce Costs
Supporting an on-premise IT infrastructure typically costs more than buying and maintaining servers in the cloud. So when a company is looking for ways to reduce capital expenditures or operating costs – or both – moving IT to the cloud makes sense. Cloud computing offers both lower and more-predictable costs, since you pay a fixed monthly amount for it. And if you add or remove users, the payment is adjusted accordingly so that you only pay for what you use.
Desire to Offload Noncore Functions
Unless you’re actually in the IT business, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to own and maintain your own IT systems. Instead of investing time and money in owning systems and keeping up with refresh cycles and software updates, you can shift to a cloud model that moves the responsibility to your cloud services provider. And if you’re just starting a company, you may want to just skip the on-premise step from the start. In fact, three of our first five cloud server clients were startups who went directly to the cloud model for their IT.
Shrinking/Expanding Business Cycles
If your business goes through cycles of adding and then downsizing employees to keep the workforce aligned with shifting demand, you may find it challenging to accommodate these changes with on-site IT systems. Adding hardware and applications for employees who may only be temporary doesn’t make sense – but if you don’t do it, how will they get their work done? And if you do add resources and capacity, how much of what you have will go unused when the workforce shrinks? Cloud computing gives you the flexibility to simply add or remove users anytime as needed.
Looking for a Competitive Edge
Cloud computing provides a level of business agility that can provide a competitive advantage, even over a large enterprise. One of our clients that manufactures and sells consumer goods can get to market faster than the competition now that the company is in the cloud, because they can quickly shift strategy and deploy new applications whenever business demands it. Their larger competitors – even if they have some capabilities in the cloud – tend to also have traditional systems that just can’t adapt as quickly.
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Bill McCharen, COO
Our goal for this blog is to answer the questions you ask. If you have any questions about cloud computing or any other topic please email me at email@example.com. To learn more about IT subscribe to our blog.