Connectivity to the cloud is a great opportunity your organization can leverage to its advantage, but only if it’s done well. No two businesses will have the same exact configuration when it comes to cloud, as the needs and responsibilities that are accomplished through that cloud solution will change. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you discover which cloud solution is right for you.
Consider these three factors when thinking about which cloud solution fits your business needs.
Who’s Hosting and Maintaining It?
Managing a cloud solution is no simple task, and unless your business is focused on technology, chances are that you don’t have the skills required to manage one. More than that, you certainly don’t have the time to do it, either, and your budget probably doesn’t allow for the hiring of an internal IT department. In cases like this, a cloud solution that’s hosted and maintained off-site by professional technicians is of great value.
Out of the three types of cloud solutions available to SMBs--public, private, and hybrid--your organization can make any of them work for hosting and maintenance. Public clouds are stored and hosted in an online space that’s managed by the provider. Private clouds, on the other hand, can be hosted either on-site on your own private network, or virtually in a secure data center. Hybrid clouds combine the best aspects of both types of cloud solutions to offer the convenience of public with the functionality of private.
How Much Flexibility Do You Need?
It’s natural for a business to grow over time. You’ll likely add more users and other types of technology in the near future, especially as your company becomes more successful and more clients are onboarded. This next factor is one that you’ll only be able to answer if you’ve put considerable effort into thinking about the future of your business. Where do you see yourself in the next five or 10 years? Will your infrastructure be able to support change?
Thankfully, the cloud is a great tool that helps organizations adapt to changes in both the number of users and the type of devices accessing the data. No matter which cloud solution you get, you’ll have control over the numbers of users and the amount of storage you have. Just keep in mind that the public cloud will likely cost more as your needs expand, while a private cloud will require investment on your end if you manage your own cloud.
How Much Security Do You Want?
Security is one of the most important parts of running a business, especially when it comes to cloud-based storage. Since it’s located in a virtual environment, it’s easier for hackers to gain access to, and therefore must be protected by security solutions designed to prevent breaches before they occur. The problem, though, is that cloud solutions don’t all offer the same level of protection. How can you know which is right for you?
Depending on the cloud solution, you’ll only have a certain amount of built-in security. The public cloud usually only offers a set level of protection since you don’t have the freedom to augment it with external features. Keep in mind that the public cloud is still relatively safe, as public cloud providers tend to have full IT teams behind the maintenance and management of them (plus they risk their own business if they can’t keep their customers’ data safe), but if you want to improve security, a private or hybrid cloud solution is your best bet. With additional security features available to you, your business can thrive without having to worry about how protected its cloud-based data and applications are (provided that you are protecting your infrastructure).
For help choosing which cloud your business needs, reach out to SMART Services at 586 258-0650.
Let Smart Services position your agency for tomorrow’s technological challenges. For more than 25 years, Smart Services has helped agencies across the U.S. face a changing environment by providing innovative technology solutions that allow agencies to focus on growing their business. MyAGENCYcloud, our complete cloud solution, covers all your technology needs in the cloud or at your agency. In today’s competitive environment, it’s time to make your agency technology a strategic asset, instead of a liability. Let us show you how. To learn more, please call our expert agency technology advisor at 586-258-0650.