From storing vast amounts of information to granting employees the flexibility to work from anywhere, the cloud is capable of many things and has drastically changed the business landscape. The organizations that have migrated over to cloud infrastructure are now enjoying the benefits that come with being a cloud adopter. And as time goes on, it seems the cloud is playing an increasingly important role in these companies’ operations.
While those businesses have found success in their cloud solutions, would the same be true for your business? If you find yourself asking, “should I move to the cloud,” you’re not alone. Many owners with growing businesses find themselves eventually being confronted with this question. In this blog, we’re going to discuss what the cloud is and if moving to the cloud is the right decision.
Should I Move To the Cloud?
The cloud can sound like some nebulous thing that’s difficult to grasp, but it really isn’t all the complicated. Terms such as “the cloud” or “cloud computing,” are just buzzwords for the internet. Specifically, it refers to the sharing of computing resources, software, and information over a network.
Cloud computing works on the idea that your computing needs are handled by a remote machine. These computational resources help ease the workload on the device you’re using to connect to the network. The method you use, whether it’s through network architecture or by the internet, to access these resources is known as cloud connectivity.
For example, if you wanted to remotely access an app, like Microsoft Word, the cloud would allow you to use it by going online and connecting to a server. You can then use this app without installing it locally on your device. This also helps save on the amount of computing power your device needs because the server is doing the work.
Whether you should move to the cloud depends on your business needs. Factors such as security, business expansion, and more can determine how beneficial the cloud may be for you. It’s also important to think about the type of cloud you would move to.
What Are the Different Types of Clouds?
There are a few different types of cloud infrastructure you should know about and they all offer their own benefits.
- Public Cloud: This is a cloud environment that’s made available to everyone. Two of the most commonly used public clouds are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. A public cloud is an attractive option because it’s efficient for sharing resources, highly scalable, and doesn’t cost much to use. However, public cloud platforms are less secure than a private cloud solution.
- Private Cloud: Private clouds give you full control over your security and your system. This platform is ideal for organizations that handle sensitive data or companies that need to comply with stringent regulations. Unfortunately, private clouds sacrifice their scalability for increased security.
- Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds. With a hybrid cloud, you can optimize how you use your applications by choosing the cloud environment that works best with those applications. For example, you can store sensitive information on your private cloud while using your public cloud to access applications.
What Does It Mean To Move To the Cloud?
When someone says “move to the cloud,” they are talking about migrating your infrastructure to the cloud. This is when some or all of your data center capabilities are transferred over to remote servers. Migration is the process used to send your information to the cloud, which can include:
- Lift and Shift: Also known as rehosting, this is a bare minimum process where small changes are made. Applications and data are lifted and moved to a cloud infrastructure. This is the easiest and fastest way to migrate.
- Move and Improve: Also known as replatforming, this process makes a few modern updates to your assets without throwing the whole thing out.
- Rip and Replace: Also known as refactoring, this is the slowest and most complex migration method. However, it provides the maximum benefit. Rip and replace is the process of rebuilding your workload from scratch to run natively on the cloud.
Cloud Server Pros and Cons
Let’s first address the advantages the cloud offers:
- Scalability: Cloud-based services are able to scale on-demand, regardless of how much your workflows fluctuate.
- Collaboration: When using cloud services, team members can sync and work on documents or shared applications together in real time and in different locations.
- Accessibility: Cloud-based applications can be accessed by most devices capable of establishing an internet connection. This means you can access your work on the go.
- Disaster Recovery: By storing your information in the cloud, you ensure that it is always available, even if something unfortunate, like a cyberattack, were to happen.
Some of the disadvantages include:
- Internet Connectivity: Since the cloud is based on the internet, you need a constant, reliable internet connection to access the services.
- Security: Moving your data to the cloud means that you’re no longer hosting your information locally; it’s now in the hands of a third-party vendor. This is a common concern among businesses considering on-premise vs cloud.
- Vendor Lock-In: If you’re working with a vendor platform that differs drastically from the new platform you want to use, the difference between the two services could hinder the migration process.
Making the Right Decision for Your Business
At the end of the day, finding the answer to, “should I move to the cloud,” depends on what you think is right for your business. However, if you need some help making the decision, you may want to schedule a consultation with a managed service provider (MSP). A MSP, like Arizona Computer Guru, can evaluate your situation and use their IT expertise to determine the best answer for your organization.
Get the IT Services Your Business Needs
Arizona Computer Guru is an industry leading MSP with locations in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. If you need IT advice, our team is ready to help. We offer free consultations where we can discuss all of your IT concerns.
Contact us today to learn more.