As technology has changed over the years we’ve had to adapt not only how we, as a service provider, do business, but how we service our customers. The technology that has had the greatest impact on the business world in recent years has been the evolution of cloud computing. At Centrality we seek to educate businesses on why organizations like Forbes predicts 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions in the next 15 months. We specifically will touch on 5 ways that cloud computing has changed how we operate today and some incredible benefits the cloud provides.
1) How Companies Buy and Utilize Computer Hardware
Computer hardware used to be bought with an upfront capital expense model. The benefit of this was that the company owned the equipment, but they also had the responsibility of maintaining that equipment. Server and site hardware could cost thousands to millions of dollars, on top of the regular maintenance that an IT environment requires. The cost to upgrade to new servers and computers could eat an IT budget for the year, which typically resulted in pushing off hardware upgrades for as long as possible and inevitably hampering company performance due to outdated machines. With cloud computing, instead of huge capital expenses, businesses can pay for their hardware as a part of a utility services model which results in much smaller, more predictable monthly payments. This model also enables companies to place their hardware in a secure data center environment and out of their local site without any additional costs.
2) Creating a Truly Mobile Business and Workforce
Imagine having access to your work computer, applications and files from any device, at any time. With the evolution of cloud computing this has become possible, allowing employees to open a document on their office desktop, leave for the day, and then pick up right where they left on your iPad at home. Employees are no longer constrained to working in the office, but can work from home or on the road with ease. In addition to being able to work remotely, a cloud environment can take multiple offices located all over the country and centralize them to feel and operate like one local office. Today’s workforce craves flexibility and being a business that can offer the flexibility to work remotely, without losing any performance can substantially improve employee satisfaction. When employees are happy, businesses prosper.
3) Improved Technical Support
Many companies have moved away from the traditional IT model of employing dedicated IT teams and have transitioned to outsourcing these roles to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). With employees working outside of the office, as well as times outside of the traditional 9am-5pm working hours, businesses need a way to support them when technical problems inevitably come up. Now employees can obtain 24×7 U.S. based support, getting the same support at home or on the road as they would get in the office from a local IT role. This type of support model typically gets employees back up and running quicker and more efficiently.
4) Enhanced Cyber Security Measures
Every day there is another major company or government entity that experiences some type of a cyber-attack. Much more frequently, but not caught in the news, is a small and mid-size business dealing with these same threats. To help reduce the chances of your business being affected, moving to a well-engineered environment drastically reduces the surface area of attack with SSAE 18 II data centers, server and edge firewalls, intrusion detection software, anti-malware, and anti-spam. Despite some beliefs that the cloud isn’t as secure as a traditional IT environment, a strong Managed Security solution can actually be implemented in a much more cost effective manner in a private cloud infrastructure.
5) Improved Disaster Recovery Capabilities
Every business should have a disaster recovery plan, regardless of how their IT is set up, but with a cloud environment it is substantially easier to recover your data and get your business up and running. If all of your data is located on site and your building catches fire or is hit by a hurricane, it could cripple or even shut your business down. Having your data backed up and located in remote and redundant data centers allows you to continue working from outside the office on the off chance your building has been hit with some type of disaster. Another benefit of a great disaster recovery solution is being able to restore your data if your business is ever affected by a virus or held hostage by ransomware.
Cloud computing has revolutionized how we do business. At Centrality, we have a robust private cloud environment called CompleteCloud. It is the most secure, private cloud solution on the market that allows companies to rethink the way they pay for, access and support their IT needs. CompleteCloud’s unique pricing model provides a business with all of their IT needs on a simple per user, per month price that never changes even if they need more servers, they want to upgrade an application or they open a new location.
If you are interested in learning more about how cloud computing can benefit your business, we would love to talk through your specific needs.