The “cloud” — it’s a big buzzword these days, and it’s revolutionizing how we interact with the world, and with one another.
By now, most people know it’s not a fancy new office tower, re-imagined industrial site, or even one of those pop-up hipster restaurants. It’s actually a complex network of ultra high-capacity servers, or computers, “housed in massive warehouses all over the world.” And because these servers are always updated, the programs operating through them are consistently more stable, more reliable, and more secure than traditional desktop-based software. In fact, if one server fails, other servers automatically take over to deliver virtually seamless service.
If you have a social media account, send or receive email, bank online, or use a web-based operating system like Google’s Chrome, you’re already using cloud computing.
In plain language, migrating to the cloud means that instead of having a specific program, set of files, or software package installed on one or more local computers, those programs, files, and data can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device.
Unfortunately, making that a reality is a little more complicated than just flipping a switch or installing some new software. Hardware resources and data need to be transferred to the new cloud infrastructure in bits and pieces to maximize company uptime and resource security.
Small-business owners are embracing managed IT services, such as cloud migrations, at a rapid rate partly because the cloud provides entrepreneurs with a level playing field on which to compete with companies that are larger and better equipped.
A study by Emergent Research suggests that by 2020, nearly 80 percent of all small businesses they surveyed plan to be “fully adapted to the cloud,” a statistic that’s risen from 37 percent in 2014.
Most managed IT services offer scalable cloud-based packages that provide a level of flexibility and agility that’s simply unmatched by traditional site-based computers, hard drives and servers.
Better yet, cloud migration frees up cash flow that would otherwise be earmarked for capital investment in hardware, giving you the financial freedom you need to grow your small business.
By investing in cloud-based data back-up, you’ll enjoy fast, stress-free recovery if your IT system suffers a catastrophic event such as a zero-day malware attack.
And because your valuable data is stored on a remote server rather than in desktop computers, laptops, or mobile devices, the digital resources of your company are kept safe and secure — even when thieves steal your PCs, when your employees lose their laptops, or when your smartphone goes for a swim.
Because all of the servers are located remotely, cloud software suppliers can update their apps and programs — for example, by integrating ongoing security patches and upgrades — without any interruption of service. This means small-business owners that migrate to the cloud will never have to worry about scheduling system downtime to accommodate on-site software updates, or worse yet, trying to find a qualified IT contractor to perform on-site system upgrades.
One of the amazing and most appealing aspects of cloud computing is the fact that it allows users to work from almost anywhere there’s a stable Internet connection.
As a result, small-business owners can allow workers to telecommute, giving current and prospective employees the flexibility they crave to achieve that illustrious work-life balance — without costing the company a cent in added wages or benefits.
Cloud services are revolutionizing how small businesses store and access data, purchase their managed IT services, and gain a competitive edge in the most challenging environments. To learn more about how cloud migration can help grow your small business, contact us. We’re here to help.