Tech Trends: The Cloud – The New Norm For Businesses?
The Cloud is a huge part of business today. You’d be hard pressed to find a company, big or small, that doesn’t use some form of cloud computing.
In layman’s terms, “the Cloud” means that you’re accessing information by Internet connection. This usually means that your IT equipment or applications live in a data center instead of your office. The equipment is generally managed and maintained by a third-party.
What’s cool for businesses is the Cloud easily grows with your company. It can be a great choice for a lot of things.
Here are the trends we’re seeing.
Mail Servers and Application Servers
Let’s call it the great migration. But instead of thousands of birds flying from North to South, it’s hundreds of companies moving to the Cloud. The most popular cloud migrations include mail servers and application servers.
These days, it’s rare for a business to purchase a new mail server. When it comes time to replace an aging mail server, companies are choosing to move to Office 365 or G Suite (formerly Google Apps), or hosted Exchange for their email.
Application servers aren’t purchased as frequently as they used to be either. And some companies still can’t operate without them.
The Cloud has advanced greatly in recent years, yet some applications still don’t run as well in the Cloud as they do on a server at your office. It’s still worth considering though. You should evaluate the Cloud, or hosted, version of your major business applications, especially if you are considering a new server.
But not so fast. As excited as most businesses are about the Cloud, it seems that not everything is crossing over. Where we aren’t seeing great strides to the Cloud movement is with file servers.
Why? Some people feel more comfortable having their server be tangibly close. Another reason is control. The thought of putting their sensitive information in Google or Microsoft’s hands is scary for some.
For others, the issue is that there isn’t a very good Cloud replacement given the available options. Or, one of the biggest drawbacks for some companies, bad Internet connectivity. You need a solid, fast Internet connection. If you don’t have one, using the Cloud for any type of server replacement won’t work well.
With or Without the Cloud, You Still Need IT Management
Both options still require businesses to have IT management. There’s a myth that when you go to the Cloud, your IT costs automatically go down and you don’t need internal or external IT staff anymore. Not true.
Even if you don’t have servers at your office, you still have to keep up things like security and backups on your end. Your IT team will become even more important. Moving to the Cloud complicates things from a user support perspective. When something isn’t functioning as expected, it can be much more difficult to determine exactly what’s causing the issue. There are several layers of Internet connections along the way. And sometimes, even multiple providers to go through.
Choosing the right server or Cloud service provider is a big decision. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of thing. Sometimes a hybrid solution, with both physical servers and Cloud services, is what works best.
If you’re considering going to the Cloud, talk it out thoroughly with your IT support professional(s) before deciding against a server. Dig in deep and get to the bottom of your Cloud and/or server needs.
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Related: IT Untangled: What Is Hybrid IT?