Make no mistake – the benefits of moving to the Cloud are real, and the odds are good that your small business is in a position to realize at least some of the advantages offered by a cloud-based solution. As this technology continues to evolve and improve, you are wise to stay informed about emerging Cloud technologies and what they can do for your small business. But as with any technology, there are some cloud computing myths to be aware of. So smart and serious consideration should be given to your overall goals, the impact to your business, and the desired end-results before leaping into the Cloud simply because it’s there and you can. In doing so, you can then move confidently towards a Cloud-based solution that meets your unique business IT needs, or walk away confident that for now, traditional IT solutions continue to present more favorable solutions for your business.
MYTH #1: I need to move to the Cloud because all IT systems should be there now
BUSTED: Before you pack up your virtual IT bags to move ’em on up to the Cloud, ask yourself this: what is your goal? If you don’t know and feel this way simply because all the cool kids are doing it (be honest here), then stop, take a deep breath and figure out what you really hope to accomplish before going any further. As trusted IT advisors managing over 6,000 systems, Corsica Tech doesn’t necessarily recommend that every small business move to the Cloud. And we don’t because we know your business has very specific IT needs, and the Cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It all starts with the “why”, and if the reasons are valid – the need for mobility because of remote staff, you need redundancy, or the need to move hardware out of the office – then it probably makes sense to take the next step and explore the options and pricing. But absent any of those reasons, it could be an unnecessary step that potentially creates additional expense and disruption during the migration. Remember that old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well that totally applies here. At the end of the day, the Cloud may just be the greatest thing to happen to your business since well, your business got started. The point is that arriving at that decision involves careful consideration of a number of factors.
MYTH #2: Everything is better in the Cloud
BUSTED: While Cloud-based services do offer some very real advantages, they are not fail-proof, nor do they offer a better across-the-board mousetrap than traditional solutions. It all depends on your unique needs. One of the first things to consider is your internet speed and reliability. Because it’s a web-based service, you run the risk of losing access to everything that is stored in the Cloud if your internet connection goes down. So for a location with a history of connectivity issues, Cloud-based apps or servers are not necessarily ideal. Also of consideration is whether or not you have the need to transmit large amounts of data. If you do, then key to realize here is that large files are “heavy” and transmitting them back and forth to the Cloud rather than utilizing a local area network can be slow or problematic. Again, this doesn’t mean the Cloud is not an option. You may have the option of upgrading your Internet service, which could eliminate the concerns over slowing down or clogging up your connection. You may also decide to take any cost-savings realized by a move to the Cloud and invest back into a backup Internet provider, creating redundancy and ensuring a constant connection. The point is that it’s much better for your business (and your stress level) to understand and troubleshoot these challenges BEFORE jumping into the Cloud, because best case is that you burn valuable time managing these factors after the fact. Worst case is that you go full Cloud only to come to the realization that it’s not the ideal solution for your business after all.
YTH #3: The Cloud will save me money, and lots of it
BUSTED: The idea that the Cloud = cheap is just not true. What you get with Cloud services is an ongoing monthly fee. So yes, you will avoid plunking down thousands of dollars on a new server, but over the life of that Cloud contract, you may end up paying more. For many small businesses, a smaller monthly expense is still much preferred over a sizable one-time payment, but don’t be misled that it is a guaranteed source of major savings because in the long-run it sometimes isn’t. The other important feature here is that even if you go to a Cloud-based server, it’s still a server and that means it requires set-up, monitoring and maintenance. There is a common belief that because a server lives in the Cloud it becomes maintenance-free and that is incorrect. Translation – you will still need IT support even if you move to a cloud-based solution. Examples of this include issue support, new user setups, patch management, routine maintenance and backups. Oh and while we are on the topic of backups – do not assume that things live in the Cloud for eternity. They do not. It is important to get details from each Cloud service provider about how long you have access to things like deleted files, or old mailboxes for example. If the shelf-life with the cloud provider is 30 days, you will need to decide if that is acceptable or if you need separate backups run to preserve data for a longer period of time.
MYTH #4: I think the Cloud is a great option for me, but I’m concerned that it’s just not secure
BUSTED: There seems to be this prevailing belief that the Cloud is just not as secure as the in-house data storage solutions when it fact it’s just the opposite. In fact all of the most noteworthy and damaging breaches – Sony, JP Morgan, Anthem – were at in-house data centers. The reality is that weak passwords, phishing scams and other holes in the system are really what make a system vulnerable to a security breach – not where the data lives. So the real solution to protecting your data (and by extension your customer’s data) is to address those types of risks. The bottom line – while the security of your system is a valid concern and one that any small business owner should address, don’t dismiss a Cloud-based solution out of turn because you believe it to be more vulnerable than a traditional data center. Instead, address the factors that create the risk and then determine whether the Cloud is of value to you based on things like the needs of your business, the cost and what security measures that particular vendor has in place. In summary, the biggest takeaway is that the Cloud itself is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Just like any service, it provides value but also has drawbacks. Whether or not it’s right for your small business is entirely dependent upon your unique needs and business goals.
Relax. We’ve Got I.T.
Corsica Technologies understands that you need to run your business, not the IT that powers it. Whether it’s partnering with you to evaluate Cloud-based technologies, protecting your network, or proactively managing the overall health of your IT environment, Corsica’s experts will provide you with the peace of mind that it’s covered. To speak to a Corsica Technologies representative about Cloud technologies, or the management and maintenance of your entire network, you can contact us at 877-367-9348 firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit our website.