Exploring how to fuel your business’ data needs typically comes down to whether or not you have the outstanding capital to purchase and manage your own IT infrastructure or if you are looking to utilize utility computing in the cloud to facilitate all of your business’ IT needs. This week, we thought we’d briefly discuss the pros and cons of cloud computing for your business and how much money, if any, moving to the cloud can save you.
In the traditional set up, your business would purchase and host your own servers and then set up a system to maintain and manage them. Some businesses can get by on a PC or two, but for most businesses, getting the central IT infrastructure in place to allow you to scale and grow the way you plan is a major consideration; and it comes with considerable costs.
The benefit of utilizing cloud computing for your business’ computing needs starts at the beginning. When you decide that you want to utilize the cloud, you don’t have to worry about having huge swaths of money available up front. With the cloud, startup costs are reduced substantially. There are some costs associated with moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud, but they pale in comparison to purchasing, setting up, and deploying in-house servers.
Cost is just one issue. When you host your own IT infrastructure onsite, you have to make sure that it is constantly managed and maintained so as to not create situations that end up in downtime. With cloud computing, the provider typically handles all the management of the underlying infrastructure; and, it is baked right into the per-user cost.
One of the most noteworthy benefits of cloud computing is the ability to access all the information from anywhere with an Internet connection. The value of this cannot be understated; especially if you, like many other businesses today, are reliant on remote workers. Where you would normally have to consider more technology to disseminate information if you host your own IT, in the cloud, employees have access to information from anywhere at any time.
There are some downsides to utilizing cloud computing for your centralized computing infrastructure. One is that you essentially rely on the reliability of your internet connection. If you lose access to the Internet for any reason, you lose access to your cloud-based systems. Even if you have internet access, but it isn’t a strong connection, you may find it difficult to utilize your systems. Additionally, you may hear that data is at risk with cloud-based platforms, but the reality is that on the hardware side of things, cloud computing resources are typically very reliable. You will just have to consider how security works with data in transmission, an issue that the IT professionals at SCW can help you out with.
For the business that is dead set on keeping their IT in-house, you have to immediately consider the cost of the computing hardware, software licenses, and setup which can easily stretch into a five-figure category with each server. You avoid all these costs with cloud computing, but you will pay more in per-user or per-gigabyte costs. This is where you get to the truth of the question: “Do you save money with cloud computing?”
The answer is: yes, typically.
You won’t have to have a big sum of money to get started, but you will end up paying substantially more per month. This typically results in marginal cost savings over hosting in-house computing infrastructure, but you do lose the control you get when you host your own IT. Depending on your business’ computing needs, you could make out like a bandit or be left holding the bag. It’s really a decision that you have to make before you decide what you want to do.
Luckily, with SCW technicians at your service, you can get the specific cost/benefit analysis needed to make the right decision for your business’ IT today and in the future. Give us a call today at (509) 534-1530 to have a conversation about cloud computing and how to utilize utility computing in the cloud for your business’ long or short term benefit.
Sam is a network engineer with a broad range of experience spanning more than 35 years. He wrote is first piece of code in 1979 and has been involved with the industry ever since. For the last 20 years, he has worked for SCW Consulting where he has embraced his passion for network technology and security.
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