What Everyone Needs to Know About the Cloud
Cloud computing is a hot topic in the IT industry. Some say it’s the answer for every company for all applications, and some say that cloud computing just doesn’t make sense. The truth is somewhere in between – here are the things you need to know.
The Pros and Cons of On-Premise Applications
Running your applications in-house is comfortable because you’ve always done things that way. But, there are advantages and disadvantages of continuing with 100% on-premise applications.
- You have complete control over sensitive data.
- You aren’t dependent on the stability of your internet connection.
- You’ll take advantage of depreciation for your servers and other hardware.
- You can easily retain customized solutions.
- You need capital outlays to acquire new equipment.
- You’ll manage upgrade cycles, which can be extremely costly and disruptive to your business.
- You can’t easily scale your operations to account for fluctuations in workload or sudden growth.
- You must hire staff to handle maintenance, including data backups, storage and disaster recovery.
- Your staffing challenges include finding and retaining skilled IT personnel while managing a growing budget.
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The Pros and Cons of Cloud Applications
You need to be thoughtful in moving applications to the cloud because there are advantages and disadvantages there, also. However, nearly half of the companies recently surveyed by CompTIA indicated that 31% to 60% of their IT systems run in the cloud.
- You’ll enjoy access from anywhere at any time.
- You avoid up-front capital outlays to acquire hardware, and will have predictable monthly costs.
- You don’t need to acquire additional hardware for data backup.
- You’ll cut down on hardware and the staff you need to maintain it.
- You may be able to reduce staffing, or reassign staff to other value-added activities.
- You’ll easily scale your operations to level out fluctuations in workflow, or to quickly respond to sudden growth.
- You may be able to consolidate separate applications into one multi-faceted cloud application. Examples include Office 365 and Google Apps.
- You may be able to take advantage of cloud applications that have Application Programming Interfaces (API) to achieve integration rather than paying for customization.
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- You must have reliable internet service.
- You’ll need to determine if the initial cost savings outweigh the long-term costs.
- You may find it more difficult to complete complex customizations.
How Do You Choose?
The fact is that many businesses are choosing a hybrid cloud computing solution for their IT challenges. In a hybrid structure, some applications remain on-premise while others are migrated to the cloud. According to numbers published by McAfee, the use of a hybrid cloud strategy increased to 57% of the organizations surveyed for their Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky report.
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The reason for the hybrid approach is that not all applications belong in the cloud. If a company is located in an area where internet service isn’t stable, they may be able to save money by putting some applications in the cloud, but any applications that require immediate access will undoubtedly stay on-premise.
In addition, some enterprise systems that have grown over a period of time may be too expensive to migrate to the cloud. On the other hand, cloud storage is getting cheaper and that trend is encouraging many companies to migrate some applications to the cloud.
Final Thoughts on Cloud Computing
It’s not difficult to see that migrating applications to the cloud provides a wide range of benefits, but you need to plan the move with care. Review your applications to determine which ones will operate more effectively and cost-efficiently in the cloud.
Then, choose a trusted partner to make sure your projects are a success.