Whilst some businesses were already there, for many it was the 2020 pandemic that pushed them to go fully cloud seemingly overnight.
Cloud spending rose by almost 40% in the first quarter of 2020.
During this time, it was an essential resource for business continuity whilst remote working but are cloud services still the way to go for all businesses?
What are the advantages of going fully cloud?
There are many benefits to cloud migration for many businesses. Here are the headliners:
Save money on data storage – with cloud data storage, you can increase your storage requirements as your business grows. You’ll never have to commit to a monthly package based on a forecast of the storage you ‘might’ need in the future.
Save money on hardware – with your data on the cloud, all you need is your desktop device and network. Zero infrastructure.
Implementation of new software made easy – introducing new software via the cloud can be made far easier and cheaper than hosting it in-house.
Flexible working – a cloud infrastructure allows your business to work more flexibly, including home working and making use of commute time between meetings. This is appealing to many employees and helps safeguard your business in the event of a crisis.
Disaster recovery – having your data stored on the cloud makes restoring it much quicker in the event of disaster, minimising downtime.
What are the disadvantages?
Moving everything to the cloud does have its challenges and these shouldn’t be ignored:
Productivity – don’t get us wrong, this one could sit in both camps, but the fact that cloud-based working can slow you down shouldn’t be ignored. If your business uses complex software or a monster database that requires significant power to run, you could find accessing it via the cloud a painful experience. Always test the capabilities of your chosen cloud provider before migrating.
Non-cloud applications – many businesses run applications which don’t yet have cloud versions. Although it’s possible to move these to cloud services, it can be very expensive. As a business owner, you need to look at costs, practicality, and alternative solutions. We recommend you speak to your IT provider about the pros and cons in layman’s terms and make an informed decision.
Legal obstacles – before jumping straight in with the cheapest cloud provider, you need to make sure it caters for any compliance and security standards that affect your organisation. This could apply to government contractors and law firms for example. In most cases, there will be a provider that can cater to your legal duties but some industries are prohibited from using the cloud so be sure you know your legal restrictions.
Rising costs – whilst going fully cloud can save you money in several ways, there are also financial aspects you need to consider. Mainly, the price of cloud services can rocket with little warning. Earlier this year, the Producer Price Index reported a 2.8% year-on-year price hike for hosting, data processing and cloud-related services. This increase has been growing steadily since September 2022 and continues to do so.
Internet-dependant access – when all your files are only accessible via the cloud, a fast and reliable internet connection is essential for access and your sanity. If you have an internet outage, hours and even days can be lost. This is especially something to consider if you have members of your team working from home.
So, should you move to the cloud?
The message here is full cloud migration isn’t right for every business, so don’t just follow the crowd. We recommend you do your research, consider the points we’ve made in this blog, and speak with an IT specialist.
We pride ourselves on doing what’s right for our clients and that often means finding a hybrid solution. If you’d like our opinion on how best to improve your tech, give us a call for a no-obligation evaluation of your IT systems.