The concept of hybrid IT is one that has grown incredibly popular over the last few years, particularly with small and medium-sized businesses all over the world. In a hybrid IT environment, an organisation will typically leverage some IT resources on premise but use cloud-based services for everything else. The benefits of this include not only a centralised approach to important factors like IT governance, but also opening up the ability to experiment with the best that cloud computing has to offer.
All of this demands the question: is the time actually right for your business to embrace this type of infrastructure?
Any tech-related decision is never one that should be made lightly, as ultimately what you're talking about is more than just technology. What you're trying to build for yourself is a true forward-thinking asset in every sense of the term. Having said that, there are a number of risks associated with moving your business into the cloud that you'll want to explore compared to your current infrastructure.
The Risks of Moving to the Cloud
For starters, 100% of your infrastructure — including hardware, software, and data — is no longer under your complete control. By design, you'll be relying on a series of third-party vendors to provide you with all of the services you need. This means that if one of these vendors suffer a data breach, your data is compromised as well.
Likewise, moving to the cloud can quickly grow expensive if you aren't careful. Trying to build a strictly on-premise environment requires you to tear down your current IT setup and rebuild it from the ground up. By setting up your own cloud-based architecture you'll be able to regain some of that control that would have been previously lost to third parties, but at the same time you'll be investing a massive amount of money that some organisations might not be comfortable with.
Finally, there is the fact that the entirety of your business — or at least, the digital side of it — is now 100% connection dependent. You need a fast, stable, and reliable internet connection throughout the day to access your data. While this is certainly becoming less and less of a problem as time goes on, it's still something that you will need to be aware of.
Key Benefits of Moving to the Cloud
The benefits of moving your business into the cloud far outweigh the largely hypothetical downsides in a wide range of ways.
If you partner with a reputable managed service provider or other experienced vendor during your transition, your security-related concerns are essentially gone in an instant. Quality vendors will always use the latest in both at-rest and in-transit encryption, as well as state-of-the-art security measures, to help make sure that your business, customers, and data are protected at all times.
In fact, you'll have access to security-related features that you'd likely never be able to match on your own due to costs. So long as you choose the right cloud solution and partner, you can actually be more secure in the cloud.
Although transitioning into the cloud may be expensive initially, you can save on costs in the long run. Not only will you get your solution up and running faster than you could on your own (reducing both required man hours and stress levels in one fell swoop), your MSP vendor can take care of everything else for you. This is far cheaper than bringing in a new highly skilled staff member to build, configure, and maintain your environment in the long run.
Moving your business into the cloud also goes a long way towards encouraging the type of collaboration you need when you need it the most. Not only is it easier for employees to collaborate on projects, but they can work on tasks from any computer or device as long as they have an internet connection. An employee halfway around the world in the United States or on vacation can be just as productive as when they’re sitting in their office.
Finally, transitioning to a cloud also gives you access to different types of digital backup and storage services that can assure you that your disaster recovery needs are taken care of. The technology side of your business is no longer entirely dependent on ageing hardware. Whether you suddenly suffer a hard drive crash, your business burns to the ground or you're hit with some other type of calamity, you can pick up right where you left off with little to no effort on your part.
Managed Cloud Services: Tomorrow's Technology, Today
Transitioning your business to using a cloud can come with a certain amount of risk, but it's critical for you to understand that for an SME in particular, all of these risks can be mitigated or even eliminated entirely by partnering with the right managed IT provider like Powernet.
Not only will you have access to a team of people with decades of combined experience who are dedicated to building you the right cloud environment for your needs, you'll guaranteed to get 24-hour support plus access to the latest technology for a fixed monthly fee. Not only does this mean you can rest easy knowing you have the right security measures in place for your data, you’ll know your IT strategy is finally aligned with your overall business goals as well.
If you'd like to find out more information about whether the time is right to consider moving your business to the cloud, or if you have any additional questions that you'd like to discuss with someone in a little more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us at Powernet today.