Cloud computing is a very hot topic in the business world these days. In fact, spending on cloud services by businesses in 2021 is forecasted to increase over 23% from 2020 data. With so many businesses making the transition to cloud computing, it has unconverted business owners and managers wondering if now is the time to make the leap for themselves.
As with any major business decision, moving to cloud computing is not something that should be taken lightly. There are some important considerations to address before making the necessary changes. Making the wrong decision to change now could mean disruption to the business. On the flip side of that same coin, making the decision to stick with the status quo could leave a business at a competitive disadvantage in their field.
Thankfully, there are some basic pros and cons that businesses can review to help guide their next move.
Pro: Unlimited and Scalable Storage
Perhaps the biggest benefit to cloud computing is the ability for services to instantly scale as the business grows. With on-site servers, a business needs to physically add new storage which means purchasing and installing new equipment. However, cloud data storage is essentially unlimited as additional storage is always available. Businesses have, essentially, unlimited storage available.
Another benefit of having unlimited, scalable data storage is that businesses only need to pay for what they need now and scale as needs change. No wasted budget on something that isn’t required at the time.
Con: Internet Connectivity Required
With servers no longer on-site, cloud computing requires an internet connection in order to access and share data. In today’s connected world, it’s never hard to find internet access. Of course, that may not be the case for everyone. This is especially true for those trying to work remotely while travelling where internet connections may be slow and unreliable.
Luckily, there are some workarounds to help alleviate this issue. Files needed can always be downloaded to a local drive beforehand and then shared once the user is re-connected to the internet. This will mean sharing and collaborating is limited while they have no connection, obviously. As most people are regularly connected to the internet, this shouldn’t be a major concern for the vast majority of businesses and users.
Pro: Backups and Redundancies Made Easy
Cyberattacks are a hot topic for businesses today. The COVID-19 pandemic sent many employees to work from home and increased opportunities for cyber criminals. In fact, the cost of cyber crime in 2020 doubled the cost seen just one year earlier in 2019. In some cases, these costs come from paying ransoms to hackers in ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks infect a computer or network and encrypt the files, rendering them useless unless the ransom is paid. While a good defense and strong cybersecurity education is the best method of prevention, no method is foolproof. Having backups and redundancies can save a business from backbreaking expenses due to a ransomware attack. With cloud data storage, important files and system information can be regularly backed up in the cloud. Having these automatic backups saved makes recovering from an attack much easier and less costly.
Con: Cloud Computing Can Be Complex
Setting up a cloud computing environment can be a complex change for some, especially considering many in-house IT staff will not have had experience with managing cloud data storage in the past. For some businesses, simply adding to existing on-site data storage is the easier solution.
This is where managed IT services can step in and help businesses make the transition. A managed IT provider can take on the cloud computing tasks to ensure a seamless switch and help businesses get over the hurdles that can cause delay.
Pro: Reduce Need for New IT Hires
As a business grows and the IT needs grow, the IT team often has to grow with those needs to continue delivering on expectations. However, hiring new IT staff is easier said than done given the tight hiring market currently and rapidly growing IT salaries. Since cloud services are offsite and maintenance is done by the provider, there is no need to continually expand the IT team as the cloud needs grow.
This is another reason many businesses are opting for managed IT services. They can maintain a core team on in-house IT staff for basic needs while offloading more complex needs like cloud computing to the managed IT provider. The net result is a lower IT cost per user for the business, even as it continues to expand and grow.
Ready to Move to Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the way of the future for many businesses. Making the change can feel daunting, however. To get all the answers about transitioning to the cloud and understanding the benefits of managed IT services, contact the cloud computing experts at CDS Office Technologies today.