The future is cloudy, but in a great way! News stories, advertisements, podcasts, social media fees and more are full of references to “the cloud” and its revolutionary effect on the way the world does business. But what is cloud computing? And what’s the downside, if any? And many businesses are just getting used to the last revolutionary technology: the Internet!
Have no fear – Preemo is here, and we can guide you through everything while protecting your most valuable business asset: your data.
Cloud computing is a kind of Internet-based computing that provides processing capacity and data to users on demand over a network. It relies on shared resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility like the electricity grid. Cloud computing utility-like qualities make it a flexible, cost-effective, accessible, and scalable solution for users, particularly businesses of every size.
Where Is This Cloud, Anyway?
Since the early 2000s, high-capacity Internet access has become much more widespread, and processing power and capacity rapidly have increased even as their costs tumbled. Public cloud services providers like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services own and operate the actual computer hardware and infrastructure at their own data centers.
Client access is via the Internet, while the centralization of that hardware and infrastructure allows the providers to pool resources, offering clients significant savings compared to managing that IT infrastructure themselves, while also allowing users to increase their capacity as their computing needs rise, while decreasing capacity if demand falls.
On-Site vs. Off-Site: Why Both Are Relevant
So now we see how cloud computing offers the economy-of-scale benefits of outsourcing, centralization, and pooled resources, just as the electricity grid is an improvement over having a miniature power plant in your basement for just your single home or office. Sure, you may say, but electricity is just energy, while the cloud wants to take care of my data. Isn’t it risky to put all my data out there, not on my premises and out of my control?
Actually, these major data centers are capable of much more sophisticated and cutting edge security and encryption than any individual user could manage themselves. Additionally, if anything happens to your physical premises, like a burglary or natural disaster, then any on-site data storage would have been compromised also.
Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B, just as many homes have a back-up generator in case of a black-out. Sure, it’s a gas-guzzler, but it’s just a short-term solution until the main power source comes back online. Similarly, good risk management practices include on-site data storage and backup in addition to cloud-based, off-site resources, just to keep all bases covered. And in the event of a disaster wiping out the main systems, a full restoration of your IT infrastructure may be faster from an on-site source, while restoring from the cloud may be limited by the bandwidth capacity of your Internet Service Provider.
Who Ya Gonna Call? Your Managed Services Provider!
Just like cloud service providers, your Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) offers efficiency, expertise, cost-effectiveness, and responsiveness. One of the great advantages of cloud computing is its rapid evolution, but this can also present a challenge to the cloud user trying to manage everything alone. You’re in business to provide your own clients with great service, not to get bogged down in your IT.
A high-quality MSP like Preemo is made up of a diverse team of technology experts who stay on the cutting edge of IT innovations and apply that expertise to your business needs. Not having the natural time and expertise limitations of a single person (an “IT guy”), an IT Company can respond more quickly and precisely to any problems you may encounter, and can actually prevent these problems through proactive management of your IT infrastructure.
Contact Preemo to schedule a complimentary assessment of your business technology needs, and discover what you could gain, in both computing power and cost savings, from advancing to cloud computing.