Cloud computing: Is it right for your business?
In response to an increasingly competitive digital marketplace, companies all over the world are moving their operations from local servers to the cloud. The ubiquitous access offered by cloud computing allows employees to access their files when and where they need, and lets businesses focus on what they do best, instead of devoting precious resources to IT maintenance.
But what about your business? Is making the transition to cloud computing right for you?
For those unfamiliar, cloud computing refers to the utilization of computing resources -- whether hardware, software, or both -- housed remotely and accessed by the user via a network (usually the internet).
The choice to transition to cloud computing brings with it a variety of advantages, including the predictability of a flat monthly payment, the elimination of regular IT maintenance tasks, the ability to scale your IT to the increasing needs of your business without having to buy more servers, all of which will most likely mean cost savings for you.
And that’s aside from the benefits of the vastly greater accessibility offered by cloud computing.
While there are certainly legitimate disadvantages to cloud computing -- specifically the cumbersome task of initially transferring your data -- two of the most often repeated disadvantages are really misconceptions, and don’t provide sufficient justification to disqualify cloud computing as an option for your company.
The Cloud and Security
The first of these has to do with cloud storage and security. The conventional wisdom is that because you are surrendering your data to a third-party it is at greater risk for a security breach. In practice, the opposite is often true. No data is ever completely secure, but the reality is that companies specializing in cloud computing devote enormous amounts of resources to ensuring the security of your data. Their reputation depends upon it. Most small and medium-sized businesses -- even those that house their applications locally -- simply cannot devote the resources necessary to achieve a comparable level of security.
The Bandwidth Issue
Another purported disadvantage of cloud computing that you may have heard is that your business’s bandwidth may not be capable of transferring your data quickly enough to make the cloud a viable option. While this is a legitimate concern for a few extremely data-intensive companies (like those that offer streaming video, or those with exceptionally high traffic), the vast majority of businesses need not be concerned with this.
Additionally, the high-bandwidth infrastructure continues to grow. Google’s new fiber-optic network, Google Fiber is being piloted in Kansas City and already has over a dozen agreements with surrounding suburban municipalities to implement the network in the next few years. So, even for data-intensive operations, bandwidth is a concern that will likely fall away within the coming years.
What About You?
Whether or not migrating your data to the cloud is right for your business will ultimately depend on your specific needs. For more information, here’s a more comprehensive list of the pros and cons of cloud computing.
Hassan Bawab is the Founder and CEO of Magic Logix, an interactive digital marketing agency in Dallas, TX. Magic Logix combines dynamic website development, professional website design, SEO and integrated online marketing to drive new leads with high conversion. Hassan is committed to high standards in every aspect of his business and actively leads his team of professional developers, designers, and online marketers. Key to their success is Hassan's emphasis on clear, open communication among employees and with clients. Hassan believes that the best CEO is also the best listener.