This article first appeared in Thinking Bigger, Kansas City’s Leading Business Magazine for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs. To read the original article, visit their website.
Owners of small and medium-sized businesses should carefully consider moving their computer network and operations to cloud computing. Keep in mind, however, that as you consider this transition, you are likely to encounter conflicting advice, and no real answers to your questions about security, cost and whether such a move is appropriate for your organization.
The simple fact is, cloud computing is not a good fit for every company. Further, if you don’t get all the facts and don’t fully understand the pros and cons, you can end up making some very poor and expensive decisions that you’ll deeply regret later.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
Keep in mind, there is no “perfect” solution. All options – be it an in-house, on premise server or a cloud solution – have upsides and downsides that you need to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
Consider that the best option for you may be a hybrid solution in which some of your applications and functionality are in the cloud and some are hosted and maintained on an in-house server.
Pros of cloud computing:
- Lowered IT costs
- Ability to access your desktop and/or applications from anywhere and any device
- Automated disaster recovery and backup
- Faster, cheaper and easier to set up new employees
- Being able to use it without having to “own” it
Cons of cloud computing:
- The Internet going down
- Data security
- Certain line-of-business applications won’t work in the cloud
- Compliance Issues
When done right, a migration to Office 365 or another cloud solution should be like any other migration. It requires proper planning. Every company has its own unique environment, so it’s practically impossible to plan for every potential pitfall; however, here are some big things you’ll want to ask your IT consultant about before making the leap:
- Make sure your IT consultant has a solid plan to prevent extended downtime.
- Ask your IT consultant to run your network on a test environment before making the full migration.
- If you want to integrate 3rd-party applications, do not let your IT consultant forget to test them first.
HSMC Orizon Technology LLC is a local provider of managed technology services. You can subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on LinkedIn to receive updates on technology solutions. If you are considering a move to the cloud, our team at HSMC Orizon Technology LLC is a great resource. If you would like assistance with your decision, please feel free to give me a call at 816-525-9699.