Lost in the Clouds – Understanding the Cloud for Small Business Owners
THE CLOUD! You hear it proclaimed everywhere. Unfortunately, for many business owners, understanding its workings makes no more sense now than the first time you heard about it.
It causes you to stare at the sky and wonder what possible help or panacea exists to affordably revolutionize your business’ information technology portfolio. The truth is your business really needs a piece of the cloud. Here’s why…
What is the Cloud?
Understanding the cloud is simple when you think of it as a collection of distributed computer networks. You can rent pieces of what you need on a monthly basis. For a business owner, it is most cost-efficient to utilize the cloud as opposed to purchasing hardware and software that add more assets, and more expense, to the balance sheet.
The cloud can also be a detriment to your firm if not properly implemented. So it begs the question, as a business owner do you use the cloud, and if so, do you use it correctly?
What to Take with You to the Cloud
Email in the Cloud
Email is often the first cloud destination. It is a great cloud component because of the sheer expense of trying to host it on your own company hardware. Many companies have email they have installed and setup themselves, but they don’t realize that time is not on their side. As time slips by, more and more security exploits are invented. Your information becomes much more at risk.
Additionally, storing your email in the cloud meets many regulatory requirements, such as the HIPAA security rule. Purchasing the hardware to host email yourself, even in a smaller sized office, can easily equal or exceed the price of several years of email cloud hosting.
Thinking through a cloud odyssey also includes cloud backup. Cloud backup again fulfills many requirements that your business needs for regulatory purposes. For example, ThrottleNet works with a financial planner that needs to bring up a full cloud equivalent of their network once a quarter. Without a proper cloud backup strategy in their portfolio, they would be out of compliance, and consequently, out of business.
A properly engineered cloud backup can give you piece of mind knowing that even a local a disaster would not put your business out of commission, temporarily or even permanently. Data becomes safe and secure and can be recalled rapidly in the case of emergency. It is even faster and more accurate than tape backups and other local solutions.
Cloud Servers & Workstations
The final stop on this journey focuses on cloud based servers and workstations. These can save your business a copious amount of upfront capital expense. You trade a large up front investment for a much smaller monthly fee, realizing positive impact on your cash flow. Unlike office based PCs and servers, cloud based equipment is often more secure than terrestrial counter parts and requires little to no maintenance.
Many malware and virus attacks fail against cloud assets. These assets prevent most intruders from installing whatever they want, whenever they want, or running dangerous attachments due to lack of permissions. This renders some of the worst threats of our time, such as CryptoLocker and Ransomware, impotent.
Keep in mind the cloud only performs as quickly or responsively as your Internet bandwidth will allow. Cloud workstations and servers are not a possibility for all businesses. This is dependent on the technical limitations of your company Internet connection and/or software packages.
Take Your Business to the Cloud
For most businesses the cloud offers dozens of options for improving their technology portfolio and enhancing corporate growth. With the assistance of knowledgeable and seasoned cloud experts a journey to the cloud could be just what your company needs , enabling you to gain a clear-cut edge over your competition.
To learn more about ThrottleNet’s suite of cloud services, contact us today!