Transitioning to the Cloud
By Wiss Associate
What if you lost your company’s computers, servers and phone system?
The culprit could be hackers, natural disaster or technology breakdown, but the end result is the same: You lose nearly everything of importance to your business for an unspecified length of time.
Your business is at a standstill until you hire an army of IT specialists to get you up and running again. They’ll get right to it — or at least as soon as they can fit your company into their busy schedule.
Because of these potential delays, a strong argument can be made for the cloud — off-premise data operation and storage. Instead of keeping your critical data internally, you operate some or all of your files, programs, servers, email — perhaps even your phone systems — in an outside environment. The cloud has multiple built-in redundancies and failover systems to protect your data.
The starting point for successfully moving your vulnerable systems to the cloud is to find a trusted project management team.
Levels of protection
There are several levels of service protection to consider when moving to the cloud.
- Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) – Your data stays on your premises, but it’s backed up and copies are kept offsite so you can seamlessly switch to a cloud environment in an emergency.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – Software is offered in the cloud by a vendor, so even if your hardware is destroyed, your company will have uninterrupted access to software and data.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – On this level, all of your servers and other infrastructure are held and maintained off-site at a hosted datacenter.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – This cloud computing service provides a platform that typically includes an operating system, programming language execution environment, database, or web server that allows businesses to develop, run and manage web applications without the infrastructure.
You may ask, “What good is the ability to work in a cloud environment if your Internet goes down in a disaster and you can’t reach your cloud?”
There are steps you can take to overcome even that minimal risk, including running your systems on redundant Internet lines from different providers. If one Internet line drops off, you still have another one running.
Cost and timing
While the costs for many cloud services vary depending on volume and complexity, the transition could be a cost savings or be cost-neutral. Your company is likely to save on lost productivity involved with maintaining and upgrading your internal systems, as pricey servers must generally be replaced every five or six years. For example, at Wiss, by transitioning our telephone system to the cloud, we estimate we save about $12,000 a year in phone service.
As for timing, it could take from a few days to a few weeks to transition, and if you hire an experienced, tech-savvy company, the transition should be seamless.
Want to find out more? Read the full article here.