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 mindset surrounding cloud services that acknowledges the sustained benefits of moving data to the cloud.
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 cloud service provider in 2023 will become better equipped to handle new circumstances quickly and move toward a more streamlined and secure IT infrastructure.
5 Benefits of Converting to Cloud Computing
Managed cloud services help narrow the gap between remote workers and in-person teams while reducing information security compromises. However, cloud computing has far-reaching benefits beyond supporting remote work environments. SMBs should move their data to the cloud to reduce the risk of data loss, increase flexibility, minimize security risks, and maximize on-demand support.
1. Reduce the Risk of Data Loss
One of the most attractive benefits of managed cloud services is the reduced risk of data loss. Businesses that utilize on-prem servers have fewer backup and recovery options. A ransomware attack or a malfunction in the system can result in the permanent loss of company data on an internal server. Businesses can 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 securely stored in the event of an emergency and enables a speedy recovery of any necessary files.
2. 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 storage, memory space, and any additional features the company requires. When businesses shift to cloud computing, they remove capital expenditures on the regular network hardware refreshes every 3-5 years, minimizing additional maintenance or upkeep costs.
3. Increase Flexibility & Mobility
An essential value proposition persuading businesses to adopt cloud services is its dynamic flexibility and scalable nature. Ensuring all employees have access to company data is essential to maintaining business continuity in an increasingly isolated remote work landscape.
Cloud services are more conducive to securing remote work environments and creating a streamlined approach to working with multiple business locations.
Cloud-based infrastructure provides additional avenues for employees to complete their tasks in the brick-and-mortar office location, at home, or on the road, improving productivity and ensuring business continuity. Cloud computing also allows companies to scale internationally as it connects employees, customers, and business partners worldwide with minimal additional effort.
4. Minimize Security Risks
On-prem servers are physical assets 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 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 cyberattacks. Cloud-based infrastructure, when done right, utilizes several security mechanisms to fortify end-users data.
These methods include:
- Threat intelligence
- Disaster recovery
- Next-Generation Firewall
- Virtual private network (VPN)
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Software patches and updates
- Data masking and encryption
5. 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 for businesses to maximize all the benefits fully.
Cloud services provide businesses with 24/7, on-demand compliance and cybersecurity support to ensure business continuity. This team of professionals conducts deep cybersecurity services that monitor networks and take immediate action when necessary. The right managed service provider understands the business, the technological behaviors of its employees, and is available 365 days a year to support unique cloud computing needs with a service-level agreement (SLA) of 30 minutes or less.
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 educational institutions, healthcare providers, and financial institutions.
Transition Your Business's Data to the Cloud
It's time businesses retire their legacy mindset and embrace cloud-based technology's innovative capabilities. Cloud services provide the additional support needed to secure remote work environments and supply businesses with 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 solidify business continuity now and into the future. 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.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on January 03, 2023, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.