If you have your own in-house applications for running your business, you’ve probably considered moving that application to the cloud. After all why wouldn’t you? Because allowing your employees the ability to access work anywhere at any time with the device of their choice is definitely appealing for a variety of reasons. But maybe you’ve shied away because of the infrastructure and skills you would have to invest in to get your cloud up and running. And while that’s understandable, it’s worth knowing that there is a good solution. It’s one that you can adopt to get the benefits of moving your application to the cloud without the headache of having to manage routers, firewalls, servers and storage. It’s called a Managed Cloud Solution and it lets a specialist do the heavy lifting on infrastructure provision.
Lots of small businesses have applications running on legacy hardware and rather than invest in purchasing new hardware in times when cash flow is very tight they see the benefit of switching to a Managed Cloud Service. After all, you then don’t have to worry about replacing hardware or failed parts and the time and resources associated with that replacement. It also means that rather than have technical staff focusing their skills on hardware, they are instead concentrating on the application and its business use, which then furthers its development and ultimately the productivity of the company. Hardware savings are cited as the most popular reason for using cloud solutions.
Where a business is only able to give its staff access to key applications if those people actually come into the workplace, it could mean that the business misses out on some modern popular ways of working. Accessing applications through the cloud allows workers to work when suits them best. This is popular with those with children and childcare commitments and gives a level of flexibility that is often sought by the modern employee. In recent years, we’ve seen bad weather shut down commuting for days, but the ability to work from home counters this disruption to a business. Indeed forward thinking employers who use the cloud to let workers work from home regularly are highly desirable to potential employees as it saves on commuting costs for the employee and delivers flexibility. Furthermore, working late or weekends, while undesirable to most, is sometimes a necessity. However, the employer who can minimise the disruption to the employee is likely to see a more positive response and commitment from staff.
A specialist managed cloud provider will have far greater redundancy features than a small business could hope to support internally. Typically a managed cloud provider will have the ability to provision a replacement server within hours in the eventuality of a failure. However, a small business can take days to source a replacement as they don’t have the resources to keep spares on site. Additionally, a specialist managed cloud provider has the know-how to replicate data across multiple locations in geographically dispersed data centres. This helps to diminish the threat of natural disasters and fire to a business.
Have a hunt around for managed cloud services and do your research on skill sets, their data access policies, their security policies and their experience in hosting applications on their cloud services.