I spend a lot of time talking to people about the cloud—this so-called “new” technology that everyone is so pumped about. It’s in every business magazine; on the lips of every software and hardware company. And the message that “you should be in the cloud” is so pervasive, every business owner feels the inherent need to understand it. I agree; everyone should know what the cloud is and how it applies to their business. Knowledge is power, so here’s a real gem: The cloud is not new.
Cloud is a new name for a solution that’s been around for years. Put simply, cloud computing allows you to take your applications and data, detach them from being committed to any single piece of computer hardware, and access them through an internet browser. From iCloud to Gmail to accessing virtual desktops from a service provider, the cloud has many forms and uses, but the foundation is the same. If it’s in a data center, it’s what used to be called “hosting.” Remote access through a browser? Citrix has been doing that for over a decade. So why the new name? Because marketers rule the world. Not that I’m complaining. At least now, when I talk about the cloud, people know it’s an actual thing, not just some esoteric computer mumbo-jumbo.
We’ve established that it’s not new…but is the cloud right for your business?
Let’s talk about the most common application of cloud computing in corporate IT today: Taking your most important applications (your e-mail, your billing system, etc.) and moving them to the cloud. There are three big reasons to make that jump:
- You can’t afford to have your main applications go down for 3–5 days (the result of a server/hardware failure if you don’t have redundancy built in).
- You have a distributed workforce and can’t afford for the rest of the company to stop working just because your power or internet go out at the main branch where the application servers are located.
- You’re tired of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on computer equipment that is growing more complex and more expensive – at the same time that it’s becoming obsolete more quickly.
If you’re a company with all your employees in one location and can afford to have no e-mail or billing system for 3–5 days, then you’re the exception to the rule…cloud computing is not for you.
Since the rest of us don’t live in fantasy land, “To cloud or not to cloud?” is easy to answer…it’s not IF you should move to the cloud, it’s WHEN. One day the price to move to the cloud will be eclipsed by the cost of 3-5 days of downtime. Only you will know when that day comes for your business – but it will come.
And I submit to you that when it does, one question will trump all the rest: Who?
Who will you trust to help you move your company to the cloud? Who will you rely on to have their eye on the future and keep the technology up to date and relevant? Who will you trust for years to come?
Bottom line: If I didn’t believe Zumasys was Who, I wouldn’t work here.
So, if I may be so bold, my recommendation to you is simple:
Determine When. Invite Zumasys to the conversation. Then choose Who.