As PC Magazine explains, "In simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive." Yet, there seems to be a gap between popular familiarity with 'the cloud' as a phrase and actual comprehension.
Consider a new film in which Jay (played by Jason Siegel) exasperatedly tells his wife, "Nobody understands the cloud! It's a mystery." And there's a commercial for Public Storage with a clueless couple tying helium balloons to their possessions in an effort to store furniture in the sky. Nevertheless, many business owners and executives are fearlessly embracing the cloud as a business strategy for reducing risks and increasing functionality.
For these managers, the key question is, would 'the cloud' benefit the business? To make that decision, you must first understand some cloud basics. Then you must assess your business' needs and the functionalities you require to maximize operational efficiencies. Depending on your company's mission, any of the following cloud options may be right for your organization:
Every single one of your business applications are stored and accessed from the cloud and you pay a subscription for services on a per-user/per-license basis. Capital expenditures are kept low and operating costs consistent.
In this model, on-site hardware (like local file servers for legacy applications, applications that are not cloud-compatible, or applications that must talk directly with equipment on your premises, i.e.,a laser or CNC Machine) is maintained. That said, some of your business applications are in the cloud and paid directly to the vendor via subscriptions such as ERP software or Electronic Health Records management programs.
Your system and applications are hosted by your business for remote offices or remote employees. All functionality and storage capabilities are served out of a company-owned data center or office.
Of course, simply becoming acquainted with a few more terms may not bring you any closer in understanding which option is truly best for your organization. That's where we at SynchroNet are happy to help. Together, we'll determine what's best for your business by exploring answers to such questions as: "What's your growth plan? How many salespeople do you have? Are those salespeople mobile or in-house? Do your business application vendors support hosted cloud and have they been in the business a long time (as in, are their cloud services mature?)? Are you facing a large hardware or application upgrade?"
A custom analysis - which assesses how you can best manage your data, your growth and employee access to your information - should be a part of your decision-making process. To that end, we'll help you weigh out-of-pocket expenses versus improved functionality and reduced risks from no longer having to manage application updates or hardware purchases for that application ever again. The net impact could be lower IT expenditures and greater productivity. That translates into bigger profits!
Are you ready to solve the riddle of the cloud? We'll help you identify opportunities to streamline your business tools while taking advantage of what the cloud truly has to offer.
Call SynchroNet and ask us to create a custom analysis for your business.