The Average Cloud Enthusiast vs The Experienced Cloud Operator

November 10, 2015

At work, Frank uses Gmail, Dropbox, Slack, Trello, and other “cloud-based office applications.”  He also uses Microsoft Word, Excel, and maybe a database program from the 90s. Does Frank sound like you? The vast majority of computer users are what I call hybrids. They like having some things in the cloud but are also adverse to the cloud for other applications. There isn’t much rhyme or reason to why they segregate some processes and not others. Perhaps the average user is just used to some cloud-based programs because they were built to be that way in the first place.

Managers like your Chief Information Officer or Chief Operating Officer make the very important decisions about how work is done. They decide which programs will go to the cloud and which will remain internal. When we asked many why they straddle the fence, two concerns came to the foreground.

Reliability + Sovereignty

There is an assumption that cloud-based applications are unreliable because they depend on connectivity. If the Internet goes out, workers will lose access to their applications and databases. While this is technically true for entirely cloud-based offices, the same idea rings true for hybrids as well. How can you interact with your clients without email or phones? They all rely on Internet connectivity somehow, right?

Some managers point to sovereignty worries because they feel more comfortable with information staying in-house. They also fear shared servers because another tenant might hog valuable resources. While these are valid concerns, and every manager should know where and how their data is stored, they are coming from an emotional standpoint rather than a logical one.

The truth is that cloud data centers are more secure than on-site offices. There is a greater chance for a hacker to successfully penetrate an on-site setup because the focus is on production rather than security, whereas for an off-site data center, security is firmly rooted as a top priority. Mixing with other server tenants is also a non-issue, because one can request a fully dedicated machine.

So, what can companies expect if they go to a managed IT solution? For one thing, they’ll be able to replace an unpredictable capital expense with a completely predictable operational one. Managers will no longer have to worry about upgrading or maintaining servers on their own dime, which can be a substantial cost if the hardware fails. Going off-site with a managed IT solution provides the ultimate flexibility to increase services as needed, with maintenance included in a contracted price. This is especially useful for small- to medium-sized businesses that cannot afford an enterprise IT architecture on a limited budget.

The fear of going to the cloud is mostly based on comfort issues, but there are cases in which one pesky database is seemingly indispensable to the organization. From an architecture perspective, it can be tricky moving a system not designed to have cloud features off-site, but that’s where our expertise as consultants comes in. By looking at your needs and not just what you’re familiar with, Access One can find better solutions to keep your operations state of the art. You just have to decide who you want to be: the enthusiast or the experienced operator.

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