Budgeting and planning cloud infrastructure and traditional IT infrastructure have always been confusing for businesses, especially for small and midsized firms that lack the expertise of an experienced chief information officer (CIO) or senior IT leader. New and complex technologies, often with confusing or overlapping functionality, complicate strategically planning and deploying a new IT infrastructure.
This confusion certainly surrounds cloud computing, one of the most widely talked about, adopted, and misunderstood technologies.
The reason why so many businesses misunderstand the term “cloud” is because it encompasses a broad range of platforms and applications, from familiar software as a service (SaaS) products like Microsoft 365 and SalesForce to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings like Microsoft Azure, multi-functional cloud platforms Amazon Web Service (AWS), cloud-based backup solutions, and others.
While cloud infrastructure can provide businesses with an enormous benefit when deployed correctly, there are instances when traditional on-premise infrastructure is still the best strategic move. Let’s dig deeper into each of those scenarios.
92% of businesses are currently hosting some of their IT environment in the cloud, but 79% have reported some form of cloud data breach in the last 18 months.
The adoption of cloud computing shifts the focus away from traditional IT management concerns, such as purchasing and maintaining servers and personal computers. With infrastructure and applications in the cloud, businesses pay a usage-based fee that encompasses all the costs related to infrastructure management, like network engineering costs, network administration costs, hardware purchases, etc.
Cloud infrastructure provided “as a service” is backed by a service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees a certain amount of uptime, availability, and functionality, much the same way that managed IT service providers like Complete
In general, shifting IT operations to the cloud allows businesses to focus on higher-level concerns like better serving their customers, exacting business value from their data, and creating more innovative offerings. That’s not to say that cloud doesn’t have its downsides, though. Here are some scenarios where cloud isn’t the right choice:
Latency Critical Applications
Applications that require low latency, such as financial applications, transaction processing systems, or advanced analytics, are often a poor candidate for cloud infrastructure. All these situations rely on rapid communication between servers and endpoints, and the cloud complicates that by forcing data to travel long distances between systems.
Data Intensive Systems
Any application that would require moving large datasets back and forth between centralized cloud storage and end-users is also often best kept on-premise. Why? In addition to the cost of cloud storage, ingress and egress costs of moving data into the cloud can become cost-prohibitive for these data-intensive applications. The field of cost cloud optimization has become very popular amongst enterprises for precisely this reason, as large companies can quickly see cloud fees spiral out of control.
Enterprises are more confident about cloud infrastructure than small businesses, with 74% using cloud hosting services vs. 44% at smaller organizations.
In a traditional IT infrastructure, applications and business data are processed and stored in on-premise in a server room connected to your office, where it’s administered by either an internal IT team or a managed IT services partner like Complete Network. While many businesses have migrated their most common workloads out of their server rooms into the cloud, there are still some significant upsides to onsite IT infrastructure:
According to Tech Monitor, 32% of cloud spending is not used efficiently or wasted, an 2% increase from just last year.
The best solution for small and midsized businesses is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of cloud and on-premise systems. Then, once you fully understand your requirements and goals, you can build what’s known as a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Planning that sort of infrastructure is a complex process that exceeds the scope of one article, but here are some key points you can consider to at least start the planning process.
The Complete Network team has provided businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Albany, NY, Bluffton, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, with network expertise and consulting services for over 20 years. Do you want to embrace a new cloud project with total confidence? The Complete Network team is happy to answer your questions. Reach us any time at 877 877 1840 or [email protected]
In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.
Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.
The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.
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