She Asks IT
Not so long ago, I associated being “in the cloud” with hot air ballooning or kite flying. Today, however, TV commercials mention “the cloud” in a technological sense. “To the cloud!” they exclaim, although they never explain where the cloud is or why I would want to go.
Still, cloud computing appears to be the “in thing.” Even former NBA Star Charles Barkley appears in ads about it. And I, for one, do not want to be left “down here” while everyone else is “up there.”
I understand that change is essential, but I also like the “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” concept. It stands to reason that if “the cloud” is the on-the-edge something new, it is replacing the near-obsolete something old. I do want to run my company efficiently, and clouds do not sound like they would provide a very stable foundation.
So, what exactly IS cloud computing? How can it help my business? What could it potentially replace in my office? And how can Relia IT help me fly “in the cloud” at the right altitude?
He Answers IT
Cloud computing is simply performing your business functions by using someone else’s technology resources rather than your own. Practically any function traditionally held in-house can now be procured and utilized “in the cloud.” Backups, applications, networks, web and email hosting are just a few prevalent cloud services. One or more of these solutions can be terrific options, especially for small businesses without a dedicated IT staff.
Just like a mechanic, a business needs the right tools to function efficiently and productively. My business is no different. Cloud providers offer tools specialized to help me run my IT company. Some of these tools I simply cannot go without. My goal of competing with larger companies, who have more employees and money, is not an easy one to achieve, so my limited resources must work harder and smarter.
For anyone considering a transition to a cloud service, security and data accessibility are major concerns. After all, your data is not right there on your hard drive or server anymore. It is somewhere else. The truth is, however, that well established providers can actually make your data more secure and available.
Are you happy with that Windows XP “Server” in the corner? What if you need to access your customer data in the field? Can you get to it remotely? Can you get to it securely? Does it matter? My business data and the confidentiality of my customers’ data certainly matters to me.
And what about “cloud costs” versus “in house costs?” A new server costs a few thousand dollars up front, plus monthly maintenance fees. For a small consistent investment over time, cloud computing can provide your company with service and support that would easily cost you thousands to setup and maintain yourself. (Not to mention the cost of Ibuprofen for the headaches involved.)
By choosing the right cloud providers and services, you can more fully concentrate on your business’s specific goals and visions. So, why not stand on the shoulders of IT giants and look ahead into the 21st century? You will be amazed at what you can do up here!