Some people believe that attaching “Cloud” to everything tech related magically makes every product better. If you are exploring Cloud capabilities for your business, there are some great reasons to examine the offerings and there are serious reasons to be careful. As with any technology, it is important to weigh potential costs and benefits so you don’t make any disastrous mistakes.
There are some very sound Cloud options. For example, Microsoft’s Office365 is a great way to eliminate the need for buying individual copies of Office for everyone. You can get 5 copies for mobile devices and 5 copies for PCs and notebooks per person with perpetual upgrades included. Plus, you can get Exchange email in the Cloud. However, you still need someone to manage the email process. Adding users and configuring licenses still need to be done, so the Cloud may not be the buy it and forget it answer you are looking for. Also, you need to make sure your management understands the continual operating expense as opposed to the capital expense of outright purchase. These are important points to cover with your financial advisor or CFO.
The Cloud is obviously a great choice for a growing set of solutions. KME uses it to place fully encrypted data backup sets and server snapshots offsite for many clients. If one of our protected clients’ buildings were to burn to the ground, we could replicate their servers and data completely in the Cloud in a few hours with remote access from anywhere in the world. That’s critical to our managed care clients and a very powerful Cloud solution.
What’s good for one client could cause serious compliance issues around HIPAA, SOX, PCI, ITAR, etc for others. Be sure the Cloud capabilities you are looking at are compliant with your set of circumstances. Also, be very aware that increased ISP speeds will probably be required to accomplish your goals. This will cost money and that’s important to know before installation.
The Cloud has some great advantages when deployed in a thoughtful, planned method. Someone who is skilled at looking past the initial promise of faster, better, cheaper, should review what you need and what the right solution mix is for your business.
At KME, we’ve deployed a hybrid solution with some servers onsite and some in the Cloud. It made us rethink our own business continuity, ISP, data security and business process. We learned and tested on ourselves developing strong process internally and not at a client’s expense. We ended up with a sound solution that we rely upon every minute of the day. If you have questions about the Cloud or want to learn more, please contact us at 949-462-7001 ext 460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.