Going to the Cloud?

Going to the Cloud?

The cloud can mean different things to different people, however, it essentially relates to your information being stored on someone else’s server, at a location you cannot gain physical access to.

For instance Google has cloud storage in more than eight data centre locations in the US, 1 in South America, 4 in Europe and 2 in Asia.

Here are a few points to consider before moving to a Cloud environment:

1. Can your internet cope?
The user experience is limited by the speed of your local Internet connection.

Currently if you have an Email server located in house, when you send an email to your colleague in the office next to you, the email goes from your computer, to the server and directly to the staff member.

If you have Email that is on a cloud platform, such as Office 365. The email goes from your computer, out of your office via internet to the Email platform located somewhere in the world, then back down again via the internet and lands at the staff members computer.

This all takes time and internet bandwidth.

You are fully dependent on your Internet connection – no connection – no access.

2. The Cost.
Cloud platforms charge per month or per year, indefinitely.

Depending on the amount of Data your company has, utilising Cloud platforms can be expensive.

An analysis can be done on your network to assess if keeping your servers in premise or if moving completely to the cloud is beneficial. Often a hybrid of the two is best for solutions for a company’s needs.

Some of our clients run their Email platform in the cloud and keep their files and domain servers in house as that is the most cost effective solution.

A cost analysis is done to determine the break-even point of a server infrastructure and life expectancy compared to the monthly cost of the cloud.

3. The type of work your company undertakes.
Cloud services are well suited to rapidly growing companies that may outgrow their infrastructure too quickly.

They are also fantastic for companies that have a lot of staff working remotely, where they are able to gain access from any location via the internet without needing secure access to the internal network.

It is also beneficial for companies who use a lot of contractors, as it means you are not giving them access to an internal network.

4. Life expectancy and updates
As a rule of thumb, corporate servers have a life expectancy of 5 years.

Licencing and hardware are normally bought new with the latest version of software. After the initial set up costs, the company owns the hardware and software, meaning it can run it for as long as they like and not pay anything else.

With utilising the cloud, the cloud hosting companies take care of all software updates.

For instance, if you use Office 365, you will always run the latest Microsoft Office suite software.

Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go on a subscription-based model.

However this does mean a higher OPEX budget is needed as you shift to a monthly payment to use the space and services needed. CAPEX and depreciation are no longer applicable.

Some of our clients work on a hybrid cloud system, utilising the best of in-house services and cloud platforms.

Talk to TCT about what options are the best for your company.

Robert Brown

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