An unexpected discovery of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has shone a bright spotlight on the many issues plaguing companies’ current IT infrastructures. Businesses with a legacy disposition and a heavy reliance on on-site (on-prem) servers are having more difficulty transitioning to remote work environments than those companies that adopted a forward-thinking, innovative mindset surrounding cloud services that acknowledges the sustained benefits of moving data to the cloud.
Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are increasingly turning to the cloud to host their servers, core applications, and data storage as a solution for their new fully remote work environments. Now, even as offices begin to reopen, organizations are seeing the benefits of cloud computing regardless of where their workforce is.
Keeping data stored in traditional on-prem servers creates an unnecessary additional complication for companies looking to scale beyond their existing offices or transition to a remote work environment. Businesses that partner with a managed service provider to transition to cloud storage operations become better equipped to handle new circumstances in a quick and efficient manner, and move toward a more streamlined and secure IT infrastructure.
Benefits of Converting to Cloud Computing
Cloud services can help narrow the gap between remote workers and in-person teams while reducing information security compromise. However, cloud-computing has far reaching benefits that go beyond supporting remote work environments. SMBs should move their data to the cloud in order to reduce the risk of data loss, increase flexibility, minimize security risks, and maximize on-demand support.
Reduce the Risk of Data Loss
One of the most attractive benefits of using cloud services is the reduced risk of data loss. Businesses that utilize on-prem servers have less backup and recovery options at their disposal. A ransomware attack or a malfunction in the system can result in the permanent loss of company data on an internal server. Businesses can choose to store their data on an off-site backup server but risk generating additional costs and maintenance fees.
Conversely, cloud servers are backed up regularly which ensures up-to-date information is being securely stored in the event of an emergency and enables a speedy recovery of any necessary files.
Receive Additional Financial Advantages
Businesses that keep on-prem infrastructure generate excess maintenance costs. On-prem servers dig deep into an organization’s bottom line between server hardware maintenance costs, power consumption, and accounting for the physical space the server occupies.
As opposed to on-prem servers, the cloud computing model allows businesses to only pay for the resources they use such as the storage, memory space, and any additional features the business requires. When businesses shift over to cloud computing, they remove capital expenditures on the regular network hardware refreshes that occur every 3-5 years, minimizing additional maintenance or upkeep costs.
Increase Flexibility & Mobility
An essential value proposition persuading businesses to adopt cloud services is its dynamic flexibility and scalable nature. Ensuring that all employees have access to company data is essential to maintain business continuity in an increasingly isolated remote work landscape.
Cloud services are more conducive for securing remote work environments. Cloud-based infrastructure provides additional avenues for employees to either complete their tasks in the brick and mortar office location, at home, or on the road, which improves productivity and ensures business continuity. Cloud computing also provides flexibility for companies scaling internationally as it connects employees, customers, and business partners around the world with minimal additional effort.
Minimize Security Risks
On-prem servers are physical assets and therefore are exposed to the same dangers as the rest of the building, such as fires, floods, or break-ins. This vulnerability can leave company data at risk for data leaks or permanent data loss. Businesses that move their data to the cloud can leverage best-of-breed security and business continuity technologies that would otherwise not be accessible or scalable to small business budgets. The proliferation of work from home environments makes corporate data all the more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Cloud-based infrastructure, when done right, utilizes several security mechanisms to fortify end-users data. These methods include.
- Next-Generation Firewall
- Virtual private network (VPN)
- Disaster recovery
- Threat intelligence
- Multi-factor authentication and access controls
- Software patches and updates
- Data masking and encryption
Finally, just as engaging a skilled and experienced architect to design a building is critical to ensuring security, safety, appropriate costs, and efficiency, it's critical to engage a skilled, experienced cloud architect. It's important to keep in mind that all clouds aren't created equally. Private cloud, Public cloud, and hybrid cloud infrastructures can make sense to different organizations for different reasons. The right cloud architect will review applications and analyze user data storage needs to ensure cost-efficiency, encourage maximum end-user experience, and maintain appropriate security and business continuity for each client.
Maximize On-Demand Support
Cloud computing is the next innovation in managing data and therefore should be flanked and supported by highly trained IT professionals in order for businesses to fully maximize all the benefits cloud computing has to offer. Cloud services provide businesses 24/7, on demand compliance and cybersecurity support. The right managed service provider should be available 365 days a year to support businesses' unique cloud computing needs with a service-level agreement (SLA) of 30 minutes or less. A competitive managed service provider will also supply dedicated engineers that deeply understand the business and the technological behaviors of its employees.
In terms of compliance support, cloud services can help businesses avoid data regulation infringement and ensure that the company is adhering to the law. This is especially important for businesses that handle sensitive data such as healthcare providers, financial institutions, and online retailers.
Cloud service experts are able to further fortify businesses cloud infrastructure by providing a supporting team of professionally trained cloud specialists that provide around the clock cybersecurity support to ensure business continuity. This team of professionals conduct deep cybersecurity services that monitor networks and take immediate action when necessary.
Transition Your Business's Data to the Cloud
It's time for businesses to retire their legacy mindset and embrace the innovative capabilities cloud-based technology has to offer. Cloud services provide the additional support needed to secure remote work environments and also supplies businesses ample opportunity to scale with more advanced cybersecurity protection at an affordable cost.
Businesses should partner with a trusted managed cloud service provider to streamline their IT infrastructure and secure remote work environments to solidify business continuity now and into the future.