There’s no one-size-fits-all IT strategy for small- to medium-sized businesses. Conventional wisdom holds that the cloud boasts many advantages, but there are some instances where local servers might be a better choice.
Here are some situations where each option is appropriate:
- When your data needs to be centralized
One of the key security advantages to the cloud is the fact that your data is all kept in one secure place with redundant back-ups. The security experts who oversee its storage are perpetually on high alert for any breaches, and strict protocols are in place for access. On top of that, you don’t have to remember to do back-ups (or count on an overloaded IT person to take care of it) because they happen automatically.
- When a disaster might strike
Let’s say your region was hit with a hurricane or your office building caught fire. The resulting harm could be extensive. Local servers could be damaged or even destroyed, which could have a catastrophic effect on your business. If your data and systems are housed in the cloud, they are safe from this kind of destruction.
For example, Microsoft’s Azure has robust recovery tools that allow its clients to weather any disaster—whether natural or man-made. Business Network Consulting (BNC) offers Azure consulting as part of its services.
- When your employees need out-of-office access
If your employees work at any location other than in the office, the cloud provides a secure link to your business’ data and systems. This is especially useful when employees need to collaborate while based in multiple locations.
Microsoft also offers Office 365 as its virtual office suite that allows people to link up and work together no matter their location.
- When you’re looking to save money
The cost outlay for an in-house server can be astronomical. So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to build a network, the cloud is a good way to go.
- When you need a highly customized system
Cloud storage can be designed to suit your business’ particular needs; however, using local servers does give your business even greater configuration flexibility.
But, when you choose a cloud service with a lot of infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), you still have the ability to customize your system, and you have the distinct advantage of being able to scale up easily as your business grows. BNC also offers AWS consulting.
Finally, if you aren’t sure what the best choice is for your small- to medium-sized business, hire a consultant to weight the options with you. BNC has experts on staff that will help you determine what you need.
These specialists can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud versus installing local servers, as well as helping you select the best cloud provider, if that’s the route that works best for you. Cloud consulting can help businesses build their IT systems appropriately without unnecessary trial and error—and expense.