As cloud services become increasingly popular, many businesses must make a decision to either continue using in-house equipment and servers or to move operations into the more cost-effective cloud.
When facing this decision, businesses should consider how cybersecurity, data protection, and cost come into play. As you prioritize your business goals and understand the benefits of cloud-based services as opposed to in-house servers, you can make a choice that best reflects your needs.
Here are some factors to consider when making the decision on whether you should move to the cloud:
1. Cost-Effective Benefits
In many cases, cloud-based services are significantly less expensive than working with an in-house server, software, and databases. With cloud-based services, you pay a monthly operating and service fee, which in the long run will save you a significant amount of money. This is an attractive option for small businesses and non-profits who may have limited budgets.
Further, you don’t have to spend money on your own software and IT equipment with cloud services. Everything from day-to-day business operations to data storage can be managed and maintained through a third-party hosting option at the cost of the services fee alone.
2. Cloud-Based Services Offer Flexibility
Cloud-based services also offer the option of elasticity of resources and scalability. Depending on the service opted for, cloud services can be increased or decreased to cater to the changing needs of a business. This can include factors such as storage size, the number of users, and the features of the service offered. In-house servers do not offer this same level of flexibility and adaptability needed within any growing business.
3. Enhanced Security and Performance
Cloud-based companies will generally have basic security in place in order to provide protection for data that is being stored. Levels of security will differ depending on the type of service—some services will have stronger security than others, so it’s important to work with a reputable Managed Service Provider to host your cloud solutions.
In-house servers require you to develop your own security policies and infrastructure in order to protect sensitive data, which is different from those with built-in security in the cloud. While additional cybersecurity investments are still important for those operating within the cloud, it is much easier to secure your data and ensure downtime is minimized when operations and storage are being hosted within the cloud.
4. Easy Maintenance Options
In-house servers will require extensive, expensive upgrades when the older software and equipment is no longer useful. Cloud-based services will only require you to update small amounts of equipment and software due to its continual support offered by experts in the field. The company is responsible for maintaining and updating the equipment used to host cloud-based services.
5. Microsoft Azure and Silver Microsoft Partnership Support
Formerly known as Windows Azure, Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. This platform provides a wide range of cloud-based services including analytics, compute, networking, and storage solutions. Its users are able to pick and choose from those servicers to help to develop and scale existing applications or develop newer ones within the public cloud.
At Middleground Technologies, we serve our customers as a silver Microsoft partner. We provide full-service cloud services through Microsoft Azure to help your business save money and become more efficient.
Microsoft Azure is a subscription service that once subscribed to, customers will have access to all of the services offered as part of the Azure portal. Customers are able to use these services to create their own cloud-based resources—virtual machines (VM) and databases, for example.
Microsoft itself does not charge a subscription fee; each of the Azure services is available to use on a pay-as-you-go basis. Subscribers will receive a bill at the end of the month which only charges them for the resources that they have used specifically.
A number of third-party vendors will also make their software available through Azure, in addition to the services available through the Microsoft Azure portal. Some of these third-party applications vary widely in cost, in addition to the subscription fee for the application.
In sum, cloud services are beneficial for a number of reasons, particularly in relation to cost savings, security, and maintenance. It’s wise for every business to consider how cloud solutions could help their business become more successful through more optimized IT operations.