We all know that having IT that works efficiently is essential for every business in the modern world. Technology has actually been an integral part of most businesses for at least 40 years, but in the last 10 years the options have expanded and since Covid the IT needs of business have got even more complex.
Businesses these days need their IT to be effective and, of course, secure, but also flexible and with low operational costs. There are two main options when it comes to Business IT; Traditional and Cloud, but what are the pros and cons of each system and how do you know what is right for your business?
Let’s start with a quick overview of what Traditional and Cloud systems are:
This system tends to rely on data centres to house the servers and other hardware involved in supporting a business’ IT requirements. This data centre is connected to a remote server which would be installed at the business premises via a network. All the business’ staff can access their applications and of course the business data. Any disaster at the business premises; fire, flood or theft will cause your business to grind to a halt.
The main difference with Cloud Computing is that ALL the servers and hardware are located off the business premises and the organisation’s staff can access files and applications from wherever they are – literally anywhere in the World with an internet connection on any device. Cloud computing mitigates any disasters at the business premises or on any local hardware.
So what are the pros and cons of Traditional vs Cloud Infrastructure?
With Traditional IT the business will have purchased and installed a server with the processing or storage space it required. More space means more money, so no business is going to invest in way more space than they need. Forward-thinking companies may plan ahead and buy a bit more space, or processing power, but when it runs out upgrading is expensive and time consuming. You’ll need to purchase more server space and of course there will be downtime whilst the new servers are installed.
Cloud based systems can offer potentially unlimited space and resources…as a business grows more resources can be assigned quickly and easily without the need for manual intervention and at a much lower cost.
The cost of installing and setting up a traditional IT system are considerable. For a start-up business this cost could be an impossibility and even for a growing business it could be difficult. Unfortunately, computer hardware does not hold its value, so your asset will decrease in value over time and of course the cost of repairs and upgrades also need to be factored in. You will also need an in-house IT person or team to maintain your system and this cost needs to be considered too.
With a Cloud based system everything will be hosted and maintained by your provider. This means you won’t be paying for servers or set up and you won’t need to hire an in-house team to manage your system. You will also only be paying for the resources you actually use….not space or processing power that your business hasn’t ‘grown into’ yet.
How long can your business operate for if your IT system is down? In some businesses it could be a couple of hours, but for most businesses an IT outage means everything stops.
Because Traditional IT systems have limited capacity they are prone to downtime, which can cause significant interruption to business, loss of income and profit and of course customer dissatisfaction.
A Cloud based system distributes the load of your data and applications over several servers, therefore if a server should fail another server in the system takes over automatically meaning no down-time and no data loss.
We all know that security is essential in any business IT system. Organisations have a legal responsibility to keep personal data secure, but you also want your valuable business information to be safe – protecting your business and its future.
Traditional IT systems put the safety of your business data entirely in the hands of you and your IT team…how confident are you that your server is secure? Could someone break in and steal data? Could someone steal data remotely? How often is your data backed up? Where is it backed up? If there was a fire or flood in your building would your server survive? Would the data?
With a Cloud System the responsibility for data security is in the hands of your provider and they will outline the backup and security systems employed to protect it. Once again, those multiple cloud servers offer much more security than one server, housed in one building.
With more and more businesses having team members working remotely the requirement for staff to access data from anywhere is becoming essential. When Covid meant teams were sent to work from home those businesses with a Cloud IT System found it significantly easier to adjust than those with a Traditional IT System.
It is possible to access a Traditional IT system remotely, but that is not how it is designed to work, so it can be more complicated and IT support can be an issue when the in-house IT team are used to everyone being in the same building as them. Security can also be an issue and you will need a VPN (Virtual Private Network) plus additional security protocols (more cost I can hear you thinking).
To access applications and data with a Cloud system all the employees need is their login details and an internet connection (oh and some kind of device). Your team can work from home, from the office, from a café, from beside the pool in Benidorm…. easy.
I guess you are beginning to see now that a Cloud Computing system has many benefits, especially in this new hybrid-working world we are in, they are;
But if you currently have a Traditional IT system you are probably thinking that switching over is going to be a nightmare. We can reassure you that we have helped hundreds of businesses across the UK migrate from a Traditional to a Cloud IT infrastructure with very little disruption, but if you are worried you could also consider a Hybrid IT system.
Our team have years of experience in supporting clients with their IT infrastructure and we would be happy to discuss the pros, cons, costs and process with you. You can call us on 01425 527014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org