Managing your business with cloud services is no longer an option…it has become a business necessity. In the last few years, cloud technology has moved on at a rapid pace. More than 90% of Australian companies with more than 20 staff already use cloud IT infrastructure. Even Telstra – one of Australia’s largest corporations – are moving huge numbers of their applications to the cloud.
Companies who have seen the opportunity and made the switch are now reaping enormous benefits. But, organizations who still do things the old way are in serious danger of becoming obsolete. If you haven’t transitioned to cloud computing yet, it’s time to get the ball rolling. The future of your business depends on making this step.
What is Cloud Computing?
Simply put, cloud computing means computing power delivered over the internet. There are no local machines, servers, or infrastructure items – everything is accessed through your web browser. This means a change in mindset if your business has been dealing with IT in a traditional way.
Cloud computing allows IT resources like storage, virtual machines, and applications to be accessed as utilities, just like electricity. You don’t need to own any hardware or worry about technical details like backups and updates. And, you only pay for what you use, when you use it.
The Cloud Market
Cloud services often fall into three main categories or layers:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Software as a service is the most likely to be familiar with. This can be any application delivered over the internet, usually paid for on a subscription basis. Typical SaaS services include email, accounting, and HR management apps.
Platform as a service is a layer below SaaS. It provides a platform for companies to develop, run, and manage applications in the cloud, without worrying about the infrastructure.
Infrastructure as a service is the lowest cloud service layer. It delivers the actual computing resources such as storage and computing power.
These three layers can be further broken down into public and private cloud services. Public clouds are large pools of resources shared by many users. This model is offered by the large cloud providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Private clouds work in a similar way, but the hardware and resources are private to one organization.
What Can be Moved to the Cloud?
If you’re running a small or medium-sized company, chances are that most of your business critical systems can be moved to the cloud. Common apps like email, calendars, document creation, and file sharing are a great place to start, but it doesn’t stop there.
Business applications, SQL services, and server hosting can all be moved to a cloud environment – and backed by service level agreements that demand 99.9% up-time.
However, not all applications are suitable. Complex applications can be difficult, and cloud data could be hosted all over the world, so local data security laws might be restrictive. Contact Essential Tech to get a thorough assessment of what your business needs to do right now.
Why Move to the Cloud?
Taking advantage of cloud technology used to be a tactical decision. For many businesses, it’s now become a necessity to stay competitive. Here are some of the most important reasons for small and medium businesses are using cloud technologies:
- Flexibility – The most obvious advantage to using the cloud is the ability to scale your usage up and down on demand. You have access to unlimited bandwidth exactly when you need it, but don’t pay while you’re not using it.
- It’s Cheaper Than What You Have Now – Bandwidth flexibility reduces cost immediately. But, cloud providers can run huge data centers and operate very efficiently – meaning lower costs for you.
- No Capital Expenditure – There’s also no upfront investment in hardware, so it’s much easier on your cashflow.
- Work From Anywhere – As long as your team members have an Internet connection, they’ll be able to access what they need.
- Easy Collaboration – As your team grows, collaboration on documents can get tricky when emailing files back and forth. In the cloud, everyone can work on the same document at the same time.
- Security – This is an important factor for a CIO – and having someone else host your data can seem strange. The fact is, a good cloud solution is built and maintained by experts to be more secure than your current system. Also, there’s no need to worry about lost laptops anymore – your data is always safe.
- Better Performance – You’ll have access to enterprise-class resources that would normally be impractical for a small business to maintain. That means faster applications with more uptime. You’ll be able to compete with the big guys.
- Disaster Recovery – Maintaining robust, up-to-date, and automated backups are often too expensive for smaller businesses. This is much easier with cloud solutions, as much of the work is done for you by third-party IT experts.
- Fewer Distractions – Without the burden of hardware maintenance, software updates, backups, and other problems, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business.
Signs Your Business Needs the Cloud
It’s no coincidence that so many businesses in Australia and around the world are using cloud IT. It solves real problems that have existed for decades. Problems that were once accepted as an inevitable consequence of using IT are now completely solved by cloud computing technology.
Here’s are some of the signs that you need to start adopting cloud infrastructure to your IT systems:
- You’re worried that if your IT manager gets sick, your entire system stops
- Your IT staff seem to be fixing problems all day
- You find yourself entering data multiple times and repeating tasks
- Your services have too much downtime
- You don’t have an automated backup, or you don’t know how it works
- You’re manually upgrading software and worried something might break
- Your data is unorganized
- You’re stressed about financial regulations
These problems are a drain on funds, time, and creativity. Unless you’re a specialist IT services company, you shouldn’t have to deal with them. Cloud services and infrastructure are now freeing small and medium businesses from the burden of IT, and saving them money at the same time.
Get Started, Don’t Get Left Behind
Cloud infrastructure is taking off. It’s easy to see why Australian companies are among the most eager in the Asia Pacific to adopt cloud computing. Better flexibility, performance, security, and collaboration – all at a lower cost and with fewer headaches. That’s an easy decision for most executives.
However, getting it done right is vitally important. There are so many cloud options, and your business needs are unique. Choosing the right fit and transitioning safely takes skill and experience.
That’s exactly what we do here at Essential Tech. We’re experts at taking businesses to the next level with cloud computing. With our help, you can revolutionize your operations, gain an advantage over your competition, and save money in the process.
Don’t get left behind. Get a free CIO assessment of your IT system to find out how your business can benefit and get an edge over your competition.