When to Move to Cloud Computing

 

As originally published in the American City Business Journals.
 
 
If I had a penny for every time a client or prospect asked me about the cloud…well, I’d be very, very wealthy.
 
Today, the intrigue and uncertainty that once surrounded the cloud have dissipated. Everyone now knows what the cloud is, and they feel comfortable putting their hardware, software or applications into a cloud-computing model.
 
What they wonder about, though, is timing. When should you go to the cloud?
 
Here are the top five scenarios that indicate you should start seriously thinking about the cloud.
 

1. Your servers and workstations are getting old

If the majority of your servers and workstations are over three years old and the refresh cycle is looming on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting rid of that hefty capital investment and moving into the cloud.
 

2. Your employees need better remote and mobile access

Have your employees been complaining about frustrating VPN connections? Have you increased your mobile workforce? If an increasing number of your employees need access to all of their files and programs from anywhere, now is the perfect time to consider a cloud that will provide anytime, anywhere network access with just an Internet connection.
 

3. You currently outsource all of your network management and have minimal internal IT resources

If this is the case, you are already perfectly set up for a cloud-computing platform. In the cloud, your systems are continually managed, monitored and patched so you have no responsibility for their upkeep and maintenance.
 

4. You are spending too much time worrying about IT

Aren’t we all? So let’s be more specific: If you would like to shift the risk of hardware failure from your company to an outside resource, then the cloud is for you. Cloud providers are ultimately responsible for keeping their hardware up and working for you.
 

5. You want and need a predictable, monthly IT expense

If the financial rhythm of your business is such that you have a set amount of money coming in each month, then it would probably help if you also had a set amount of expenses that would be the same month-to-month, right? Shifting your IT budget from a capital to an operational expense makes this a reality—and the cloud makes it happen. Gone will be the days of unexpected $50,000 hardware replacements that leave you cash poor. Goodbye and good riddance.
 

Any of the above hit a chord?

The question is no longer “if” you should go to the cloud, it is “when.” According to the 2014 IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study, 69 percent of organizations have either applications or infrastructure running in the cloud. Some studies put this number higher, at around 90 percent. Gartner included cloud computing as one of the 10 strategic technology trends for 2015 with continuing, widespread adoption.
 
Have questions about when you should make the move? Email me at hlanda@optimalnetworks.com