Is Cloud Computing Worth It?
According to this infographic from VMWare, 62% of IT professionals are planning on moving a lot of their operations to the cloud. But maybe you’re a business owner or IT person wondering “Why should I migrate to cloud computing if we have something that’s working just fine?” Let’s take a look at the differences between your current setup and the cloud to see if we can answer that question.
Let’s say a freak tsunami hits your office and your server goes down. (This scenario is getting less farfetched every day.) You’ve got one IT guy named Steve.* In order to get the office back up and running, Steve has to kayak into the office, make sure the server isn’t underwater, and then wait for the power to come back on so he can flip the switch and start restoring everything. But if Steve had moved everything to the cloud, he could send an email telling everyone to work from home because the remote servers (which have multiple backups of themselves) would still be up and running. No kayaks!
And if a cloud server goes down? (Which has happened and will happen again.) Yes, you’re stuck while they try to get things back up and running. But they have a huge team of experts working on it, they’ve got redundancies built in, and they’ve made it their life’s work to swiftly deal with outages. The best of the best deals with those outages, and numerous backup plans are in place and ready to execute. Does Steve have a plan, or that much expertise at his fingertips?
And what if one of the employees in the office gets their laptop stolen or they drop it in a toilet or do some other weird unspeakable thing to it? Steve can give them a new computer, but in cases where they had all their files saved on their Desktop or Documents folder, that poor employee is going to have a lot of work to recreate while some thief might be looking at the company’s confidential files. Whereas if everything is stored in the cloud, they can be back up and running as soon as Steve hands them a new laptop (and gets done sternly lecturing them).
If your server runs out of storage, Steve has two options:
- Send out a nasty email telling everyone to reduce the amount of their email, no seriously you guys, I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU AGAIN, STOP IGNORING ME. Steve and/or his officemates are eventually forced to spend hours archiving and deleting emails and files. By the end of it, Steve hates everyone and the feeling is mutual.
- Steve can request thousands of dollars to buy a new server with eleven bajillion terabytes of storage that is eventually going to get filled up too. Steve then orders it, waits for it to ship, tracks it and has to unbox the thing and get it all set up when it arrives.
However, if you need more storage in the cloud, Steve can just go online and buy some with the company credit card – not too much or too little. The storage is immediately available and Steve can get on with standing next to people who mysteriously no longer have the problem that they emailed him about.**
Which costs more – a small army of IT people constantly rushing around fixing things or one IT guy overseeing a self-sufficient group of users that only need help when there’s a big problem? That one seems pretty obvious.
And finally, your server is jacking up your electric bill while also increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The results? Sunburns in January. But offloading your server functions to the cloud means you’re using less energy which makes for a happier planet (and wallet), and best of all, your skin can stay moist and fresh all winter long!
In all seriousness, there are plenty of reasons why the cloud makes sense from all kinds of perspectives. We’d urge you to do some research and then, when you’re ready to switch, make sure you back it up!
*Sometimes IT guys are also named Mike.
**Seriously, how can IT guys get stuff to work just by standing next to you?