What is Cloud computing and what are the benefits for your business?

Cloud computing is taking services that are traditionally obtained by buying hardware and software packages and offering them via the internet as a consumption-based model, where you pay a monthly/yearly fee for what you use. Consumption-based services are very popular these days (think of Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music etc), and for cloud-based I.T. services, this pricing model offers several benefits.

Cloud services are flexible and scalable, and very quick and efficient to deploy.

A cloud server takes approximately 5 minutes to be available from clicking “Go”, compared to 2-3 hours to create and prepare the server in traditional “on-premise” environments, where the physical server/hardware is in your office. 

Increasing or decreasing the performance of cloud servers can be done with the click of a button, which changes the monthly cost accordingly, and this can be scheduled to happen automatically. So, your cloud server can automatically turn off or operate at a slower rate overnight to save you money and turn back on again in the morning for when you need it. Having it powered off from 10 pm – 6 am every night can save you up to a 1/3 of the operating costs.

I believe one of the biggest benefits is that customers can get enterprise-level features, without the prohibitive cost of buying the hardware/licensing onsite. Take for example hosted virtual machines in Microsoft Azure – they are run on highly-available hardware, meaning if the physical component fails (e.g. a server or switch), your cloud service (be it website, server, database) automatically starts up again on another one. To get the same abilities in your office, you would need to invest in additional hardware and licensing. 

Your data is protected/managed in a similar way in the cloud. With Microsoft Azure cloud storage, your data is stored as 3 copies within the same region (e.g. Melbourne), and for a very small additional cost, you can have 3 additional copies in a different region (e.g. Sydney, America etc).

To get these same abilities onsite, you would need to pay for 3 x the storage than you currently have – and when your server is due to be replaced, the storage often cannot be re-used which results in large costs regularly (every 3-5 years).

When looking at your business from a digital strategy point of view, I believe everyone should be thinking not just “do I need the cloud”, but “can I use the cloud to do things better than I am now?” In many instances, over a 3 or 5-year term, running your office server can work out cheaper in the cloud, then a physical box in the office. And I believe a HUGE advantage of going to the cloud, is that in 3-5 years’ time, you’re not going to have to spend thousands of dollars again just to replace that box. That box costs you not only for the hardware but for the IT Provider’s time to migrate all your data/applications to it, the power it requires to run 24/7, in downtime if it has a fault and goes offline and in many other ways.

Looking at all the above benefits, if you are planning to migrate to the cloud we can make it a hassle-free process. For further information please contact us by emailing sales@thinkit.co.nz.

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