What to consider before moving your business to the cloud
In the past couple of years, ‘cloud computing’ has become a common phrase in the IT industry. With more businesses migrating from their old on-premises servers to cloud services, you have probably wondered if cloud computing might be right for your business.
While on-premises server technology still exists (and will so for the near future), it’s hard not to feel antique if you’re opting for traditional servers, especially when your competitors are moving to newer cloud storage platforms.
In this article, we will look at some of the types of cloud services that are available, along with some benefits and considerations to help you decide whether cloud computing is right for your business.
Why are businesses moving to the cloud?
Cloud computing has become popular with businesses because it is cost efficient and easy to use. Businesses no longer need to own and maintain their own on-premises servers. This popularity has also been facilitated by the availability and commercial viability of more advanced connectivity services, for example fibre internet.
What cloud services are available to businesses?
There are many cloud computing options available to businesses. These can range from simple provision of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), such as unmanaged access to storage space in a virtual server, to managed services such as Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS). In terms of managed cloud services, SaaS is where a cloud based app is accessed over the internet and you pay fees on a per-user basis, and PaaS is where infrastructure and apps are provided to you as a development or collaboration environment.
Cloud services can be delivered as public, private or hybrid software. The difference between these is who has access to the physical infrastructure.
Public:A public cloud is built on an external platform operated by a cloud service provider. As part of this service, users get their own cloud within a shared infrastructure and are provided with several additional services, such as system resources (including apps and storage), security, and maintenance. As public clouds are usually managed by an external company which caters for a large customer base, they are suitable for organisations that want the most up-to-date and cost-effective cloud solutions without the responsibility of managing their own data centre.
Private: A private cloud is built on an organisation’s own software and hardware. Since private clouds are built and managed by a business’s own internal IT team, they are ideal for businesses that want more privacy and greater control over their cloud system than what is on offer on a public cloud. Though it should be noted that organisations that want to use a private cloud service need to have their own data centres, which make them a more expensive option than public clouds.
Hybrid: A hybrid cloud combines both private and public cloud systems. In a hybrid platform, an organisation’s own IT team manage part of the cloud in-house and the rest is managed by a third party. A hybrid cloud system is suitable for organisations that want to manage their own sensitive business related data in-house, but also want to store less-sensitive information with a third party.
What are the business benefits of cloud computing?
Cost savings: By moving away from on-premises servers and adopting the “pay as you go” model of many cloud platforms, businesses end up only paying for what they use. This can cut expenses and leave businesses saving thousands of pounds each year.
Flexibility and scalability: Without being tied to physical server capacity, businesses can benefit from being able to scale up and down according to their own real-time demands.
Security: While many people suspect that storing files and data in the cloud opens their business up to security risks, the truth is that most of today’s cloud solutions have extremely high levels of security and data integrity compared with on-premises solutions.
Remote access: On-premises solutions bring the burden of the user having to be physically present in the office to access files and tools. Given that cloud services operate in cyberspace, users and staff can access everything remotely, providing they have an internet connection.
Software updates: Software licensing and updates management are usually included as part of the cloud software package. This provides businesses with functional simplicity and requires no internal management other than organising for the number of cloud users. It also means that everyone is always working from the same version of the chosen cloud software.
More focus on your core business operations: Migrating to cloud computing means that businesses no longer need to be responsible for the technical delivery of their data infrastructure, so focus can be shifted from IT management to core business operations.
Some key considerations when moving your business to the cloud
Establish your security requirements: If you do plan to store sensitive data on cloud infrastructure, you may find that public cloud solutions may not be suitable for your security needs. If this is the case, you may find private cloud options more suited for your business instead.
Define your contractual terms clearly: Before moving your business to the cloud, make sure you know exactly what is included in your contract and that you are getting the built-in flexibility, control, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) that you need for your business operations.
Establish downtime protocols: While very unlikely, if your internet connection went down or a temporary failure occurred, could your business cope with loss of access during downtime? Before migrating your business to cloud computing you should decide which of your business applications are less crucial and establish downtime protocols to reduce any impact on your business i.e. implementing a resilient solution.
Find the right business internet connection for cloud computing
When migrating your business to cloud computing, you need to ensure that your business’s internet connection can meet the ongoing demands of cloud computing. For this we recommend getting a business fibre internet connection installed in your premises.
Having a business fibre internet connection allows your business to improve productivity and make the best use of cloud applications without worrying about faltering speeds or network downtime, and in most cases once fibre is installed you can add bandwidth as your business grows without any additional fees or limitations.
If you are ready to migrate your business to cloud computing then a business fibre internet connection is crucial, so why not check your coverage with our postcode checker tool and see if our own independent fibre network has you covered?
Venus offers free installation of 100Mbit/sec Internet services at our "on net" London locations served directly by a Venus point of presence. Free installation is now available just about anywhere in the West End, City and Midtown areas of London.