Is your data backup efficient enough for the way that you work?
The world of work is an uncertain one. This has never been more apparent than over the last two years when businesses all over the globe have felt – or are still in the process of feeling – the ramifications of the pandemic.
However, business owners are problem solvers – luckily, many found alternative ways of working in order to give their organisations the best chance of surviving the uncertain days that were ahead. The most popular – and most effective – method of survival is the Cloud; as it allows your employees to continue working with very little change to their workday – all from a remote setting of your choice (with an internet connection). The Cloud is an IT component, whether software or storage, which is based offsite and used on an access basis – it is paying for a service as opposed to the infrastructure behind it that needs to be managed by yourself, which makes the service the much easier choice for business owners.
Internationally, the Cloud has rapidly become the most popular option. Its appealing features have coaxed business owners away from traditional ‘on-premise’ IT (that takes far more management by them) to a Cloud IT environment (managed by their IT provider).
This being said, the Cloud isn’t for everyone. For some, their on-premise IT infrastructure is essential, and others may benefit from a mixture of the two – this is due to some businesses relying solely on a stable internet connection 100% of the time. These functions simply wouldn’t be possible in the Cloud without one.
Obviously, it is essential that your business works, and your data backed-up, in a way that is relevant for you and how you work.
The decision on which one is best for you, your team, and the continued growth of your thriving business can be a very tedious task. In the remainder of this article we will highlight the positives and negatives of the Cloud. Then, in the following one, we will look at the pros and cons of on-premise IT, which will then, hopefully, help you make the decision that is best for you.
The Cloud – The positives
Traditional on-premise IT can be impacted by threats, failure, and disruption – the Cloud ensures your data is safe. Regardless of this, it is recommended that you have copies of your data hosted elsewhere with alternative services – this will further protect your data and lower the risk of loss, deletion, or theft.
The Cloud gives you the ability to communicate and share from anywhere with an internet connection! The levels of collaboration the Cloud offers can revolutionise your workplace, allowing your team to work on the same document from anywhere (for example, one team member could be in Australia and the other in England – but both can work on the same document simultaneously in real time!).
Cloud providers offer instant flexibility in the resources they provide. This enables you to scale at will – ensuring you can meet the demands of your business easily, as you can evolve and scale overnight, keep things affordable, and be sure that the tools you and your team are using are not only cost effective but also as efficient as possible.
- Business continuity
The Cloud makes it possible for you to access your data again quickly in the wake of a crisis – it allows you to conduct business as usual whilst minimising loss of productivity and any downtime.
- The reduced cost
The Cloud removes the (sometimes extortionate) cost of managing and maintaining your own IT systems. Cloud providers often include system upgrades, new hardware, and software in your pre agreed monthly payments – with no surprises. With traditional IT you must pay for all this yourself at additional cost – not only do you have to pay for this on top of your original expenditure but you also have to be aware of when upgrades are needed (which can be a minefield in its own right). The Cloud can also save you money on wages, as there is probably no longer a need for the professionals you employed previously to manage your on-premise IT, when your Cloud provider will do that as part of the service.
All of the above will save you time, money, and boost productivity for you and your team now and into the future. But the Cloud isn’t quite perfect – let’s take a look at some of the downsides to it.
The Cloud – The downsides
- Internet connection dependency
The key concern regarding the Cloud is its dependency on a constant – good quality – internet connection. With little to no data stored locally, your entire organisation is entirely reliant on a stable, reliable, internet connection to allow you to access your data and services that are hosted there. Most businesses couldn’t afford the potentially huge downtime experienced from a loss of internet connection.
- The loss of control
Control can be hard to let go of for a business owner. You will be placing your data in the hands of a third party, who you have to trust completely to handle that data correctly according to the law, and securely. Your regulatory obligations may demand that you complete due diligence on the comprehensiveness of your infrastructure provider – it is recommended that you know where their data centres are, if they are secure both physically and online, and seek reviews from existing customers of the provider.
You will be powerless should there be an issue, and will be completely reliant on the abilities and haste of your hosted provider’s technical support team. There are many providers that DON’T offer a 24/7 service – depending on your business this could be a disaster should you need assistance at 2am on a Saturday morning.
Do the positives outweigh the negatives?
Well, for the majority, yes, they do.
As with anything, there are negatives and positives to the Cloud but, as you can see, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives – with the migration completed correctly you can push these concerns to the back of your mind.
We would recommend that you do some research to be certain that the provider you choose will help you develop a business continuity plan that maps out the risks, explains how their support and services will navigate the threats, and their vision for the future of the IT landscape of your organisation.
The lack of control is, understandably, a major concern for many, and to alleviate these worries you must talk to a representative in extensive detail and be sure they address the concerns you have. A good provider will go through the details with you and highlight the measures they have in place that will guarantee the safety of your data when it is in their control.
Reliance on tech support is historically a bad thing. The impression you get is that they aren’t interested in your organisation specifically and don’t care about your problems, but not all are like this – it is essential you shop around and find one that provides the services and effort that is good for you. The reason you pay the Cloud fees is to be sure your data is safe and is protected both physically and digitally – so be sure you are getting a quality of service you are happy with.
We hope that this has given you an impartial view on the Cloud and all it has to offer, both positively and negatively. In the following article we will explore the positives and negatives of traditional on-premise IT.
The right data backup for your business guaranteed
4TC take time to understand the daily challenges that your business faces. We then provide cost-effective tech solutions to these issues that will help you save time, protect vital data, and enable you and your staff to be more effective with your time management. We will ensure that your staff are using the technology at their disposal in a way that works for them, whilst making sure that they are educated on how to use it as productively as possible. Utilising your IT to its full potential is essential to guarantee that you and your business can thrive and grow into the future. If you would like to find out more on how 4TC Services can provide affordable tech management to your business, drop us an email or call us now for a full demonstration.
We’re 4tc Managed IT Services
4TC can support you with all your IT needs! We are trained professionals with years of experience and can guarantee you a service like no other.
We will give you and your business consistent attention – assuring that we do not only provide you with the best now but also continue to provide you with the best going into the future. We can act as either your IT department or to supplement an existing IT arrangement.
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