What is “The Cloud” and Why is it Important for IT?
When the cloud came out it was a term that confused many people and had them asking, “What is the cloud?”. It can still be a bit complicated now. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand what it is and why it’s important to your managed service provider.
How did the cloud come about?
Companies used to run their own mail servers in-house, but now most of them rely on Microsoft 365 or Google Gmail to host their mailbox, and only connect to it using their mail app or a web browser. File services like SharePoint, Google Docs, and Dropbox are rapidly replacing file servers as the go-to solution for document sharing. Most other server-based applications – including databases, financial and bookkeeping systems, and even office applications – are all now available as cloud-based web services. Many businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, are rapidly shifting from hosting their own servers to utilizing cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.
In early network diagrams, connections to networks outside of a company’s control were indicated by a cloud-shaped symbol. That symbol of vague, vast, unknown configuration beyond the customer’s knowledge became the term for web services. The cloud now represents applications hosted on the Internet by software application service providers instead of hosted internally on a customer’s own servers.
What exactly is the cloud?
Physically, the cloud is a vast collection of interconnected data centers located all around the world housing countless racks of servers all connected to the high-speed backbone of the internet. The software applications and your cloud-based data are now housed in these servers rather than at your own business.
What are some advantages to using cloud services?
- Seamless ability to collaborate with both internal staff, remote staff, and outside partners
- Conversion of the capital expense of server, data room, and software license expenses into operating expense for per-user, per-seat services
- Elimination of support labor to maintain systems
- Shifting maintenance costs and effort to cloud service providers
- Additional features and upgrades appear automatically
What are some disadvantages to using cloud services?
- No ability to own paid-off hardware and software
- Accumulation of OpEx for every SaaS application
- Specialized labor consulting required for initial integration
- Strong lock-in to providers with high costs to move
- Dependent upon cloud providers and Internet access
Why should small businesses use the cloud?
For most small companies, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. As headcount rises, the fixed per-user cost of cloud services will change. However, for businesses with fewer than 100 users, cloud services are an unbeatable value. Fortunately, Connetic works seamlessly across both in-house infrastructure, cloud services, and hybrid blends of both.
How Connetic Makes IT Easy
At Connetic, our fixed-price, unlimited IT support services model keeps us constantly searching for ways to keep our customers safe. Safe practices reduce the amount of incident response we have to perform—which we don’t get paid extra for. That’s why we put these solutions in front of all of our clients and implement them at no additional cost. We are committed to being as transparent as possible about our services. We’re the IT consultant that you can count on 24/7.
Contact Connetic’s IT services team to learn more about how you can benefit from Connetic’s extensive experience and exceptionally managed IT services.