17 Feb 2 Key Advantages to Hosting Your Data in the Cloud
Your business runs on data—lots of it! Having reliable access to that data—whether it’s client information, inventory, accounting, development, sales, or marketing information—is critical for running your business efficiently and profitably. That information needs to be accurate (meaning it has to be up-to-date). That data also needs to be accessible throughout your company. Manufacturing or inventory needs to match what sales and marketing are doing. Sales and marketing need to know what development is working on. Finance needs to know what’s coming in through sales and what’s going out through manufacturing and marketing.
Because that information is so important, some companies want to hold that information “close to the vest” so that they can control it better. There are, however, two big advantages to hosting your data center in the cloud: Control and cost. Let’s look at both of those briefly.
At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive to talk about increased control when using a data center that’s hosted outside of the walls of your company. The fact is that many companies tend to operate with “data silos.” Each department has its own way of collecting, storing, and accessing essential information. Even if each department does a good job of managing their own information, it’s often difficult to share that information across the company.
There is also a significant security concern. Proprietary information residing on laptops, tablets, or phones could be lost—or even stolen. And what happens if your network goes down for some reason (fire, power outage, flooding, viruses, malware). Even if you have a regular backup plan for your data, you can find yourself in deep trouble if something happens to the backup you do onsite.
Information stored in a data center in the cloud eliminates a lot of those concerns. There’s plenty of redundancy. Your data isn’t all stored in one place. It’s backed up in multiple locations so that even if something happens one place, you’ve got backup elsewhere.
On top of that, moving your data to the cloud ensures that information is stored consistently and in formats that allow for easy access for any who have the need (and of course security clearance) to access it. Everyone has access to the most current information in a format that they can actually use.
There is also a significant cost advantage to centralized cloud data. Think about the allocation of your company’s IT budget. While the costs of personal computers have declined, there’s still a significant cost in setting up new employees (or upgrading existing employee equipment. There are software costs, training costs, and ongoing maintenance costs to consider in addition to the cost of the device itself.
Then there is the cost of your network itself. Your network isn’t just a bunch of PCs and laptops that are wired together. And while individual companies will have different needs, here’s a simplified look at a somewhat typical system.
To buy or to build a network system similar to what you see here can easily cost your company in the range of $100,000. That’s just the cost of the initial purchase and setup of the system. Then you have to figure in regular maintenance costs and upgrades.
What happens if your company outgrows the capacity of your new system? You bear the cost of replacing the system. And again, if some catastrophe hits, it’s up to you to replace the equipment. While insurance might cover the cost of the equipment—what is the cost to your business if you’re out of commission for a day, or a week?
Both your control and cost concerns can be addressed by hosting your data center in the cloud. And if your needs change, you can make incremental changes to your system without significant capital outlay—allowing you to use your money to grow your company rather than pay off equipment that requires maintenance and depreciates in value.
We’d love to help you create a flexible data system that meets your current needs and budget and can grow with your company. Contact us for more information or to discuss your specific needs.