Now that we understand servers and the cloud, how do we apply that information to your small business and its technical needs? Before we talk about that, if you have any questions about servers or the cloud—what they are or how they work—go back and read the last two blogs. It’ll help tremendously.
Our number one priority is always supporting your business in a way that helps you thrive. Because that’s our ultimate goal, we don’t necessarily think that either local servers or cloud servers are “better.” The better solution for your business is whichever solution supports your company more efficiently. So, if you’re debating between purchasing a local server or renting space in the cloud, consider these questions:
1. Do you have line-of-business applications that currently require a local server? Or do all of your necessary tools and resources run in the cloud?
2. Is your company growing rapidly or expecting growth in the near future? If so, cloud might be a better solution because you only pay for the space you need, and you can scale up quickly with growth.
3. What equipment and resources do you already have? Whether your current systems are running on local servers or the cloud, how efficient is that for your company? Are you experiencing disruptive issues with either one?
4. What kind of data are you storing? If your data is extremely sensitive, you might want to know exactly who is managing it, where it lives, and how it is protected. Maybe local servers are the answer.
5. What is your business’s physical location? Are you prone to flooding/power loss/snowstorms? If so, you might not want your information to be stored on servers in your place of business where they are vulnerable to the elements.
6. Do you have multiple offices that need to connect to each other? If so, cloud might be a simpler infrastructure solution.
7. What is the work model for your employees? Do they work full time in the office? Do they work from home? Do they take company equipment out of the office? Different employee needs might make either cloud or local systems more beneficial or secure.
If you’re worried about the security of cloud services, good. I don’t say that because I don’t trust any of them. I say that because you should never hand over your data to anyone without first ensuring it will be safe. You should be concerned about the security of your data, and you should be working to find a solution that you are confident in. The amazing thing about finding IT partners and solutions that you trust is that most of that worry subsides when you know your data is in good hands. That being said, I personally was skeptical about cloud services at first, too. The best testament to the security of different cloud providers is their history – frequency of breaches/outages/issues, their response to those events, and the changes they make in response to those events. As partners of our clients, we can recommend cloud providers, but for your peace of mind, you should do plenty of research and work with a cloud provider that you trust with your data. If you feel skeptical after doing some research, maybe local systems that are managed by an IT partner are a better option for you and your company.
If you’re rethinking your IT infrastructure, having problems with your current systems, or have questions about cloud and local systems, I cannot recommend partnering with an MSP enough. These systems matter. Your IT can either hurt or help your business. Find a partner that you trust, who has done good things for their clients, and work with them to build your systems in a way that helps your business thrive. If you’re looking for that kind of partner, call us. We invest in our clients because we believe in the good work you do.