Monday, 12 October 2015 16:01

To Cloud or Not to Cloud

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With the cloud competition growing within the UK market and everyone offering their own hint of cloud storage, management and applications is now really the time to destroy your hard drives and rely on the web for everything?

No... no no no no no no NOOOOO!!!


Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the cloud, I love some of the products and think they offer smaller business and end users the ability to compete with big compaines when it comes to software and service products, but a lot still needs to be done.


Example 1. Briefcase Storage (you have a folder on your pc that syncs online cloud storage).


You're enticed by the great price £20 per year for 512gb of online storage safe in the knowledge that your data is always available on whatever device you have. You sign up, get your drive and your all set.... Then you realise you only have a 250 gb drive in your PC and you've wasted your money on something that you can't possibly fit all your data in.




You're a small business with home workers, you think this is the ideal solution to file share linking everyone to the same mapped network drive. You've been happily working away on a bunch of business ciritcal documents not realising that you have no web connection, the web comes back up, your network folder syncs and you find that someone else has been working on the same (now conflicted) documents so you have to spend extra time sorting out the mess caused by a failed internet connection.


Example 2. Office 365 (office everywhere)


Lets start with your first problem... Which version of office 365 do I need (there's 8 to chose from)?


What do I want my office 365 product to be installed on (max 3 devices per user)?


Can I point my email to my office 365 server?


Is this something an end user can really do for themselves. The product itself is great but the work you need to put in to implement (especially if you're a small business) is a little more tricky.File shares, user permisisons, mapped drives, Lync, One note, one drive and all the other bells and whistles can confuse even up lowly IT Bods.


Example 3. Hosted Servers


Probably the best solution for business. You select a company who can manage your IT solution, they can set up your servers how they are required (email, remote workspace, file share etc.) They link your computers into this new remote network and you can operate happily safe in the knowledge that your data is protected, your systems are managed and you have the support that you require.....


Erm no!


Firstly the questions you need to ask.


1. Where is my data stored?


2. What is your business continuity strategy?


3. What is your disaster recovery strategy?


4. Do you have the correct security policies in place to protect my data and nature of my business?


5. Can I afford your services now that I've found one of a finite few compaines in the UK that have provided satisfactory answers to the questions above?


6. What happens to my data when I can't afford your services?


Next the questions you need to answer for your own business.


1. What Happens if we have a virus on our office PCs?


2. What happens if we lose our broadband connection?


3. What happens to our data if we cannot afford to pay for our hosting services?


4. Is our broadand quick enough to cope with everyone accessing a hosted server?


5. How much is broadband going to cost to be quick enough to access our hosted server?


6. I'm with Virgin, its peak time, my broadband has just been clocked down to the speed of a modem back in 1998 what do I do now?


and last but not least


7. I'm at a hotel for the week on erm.. business (ahem) their firewall/wifi blocks hosted server access, what do I do now?


So as you can see, there are a number of problems, pitfalls and risks that come with hosted services. I do believe that its the future of computing and with the right funding/investment and knowhow you can put something in place that will benefit your business. 


Just ask first before you leap blindly the cloud and discover that it doesn't actually have that silver lining, we've recently saved a customer over £600 per year customer building their own e room as apposed to paying a service provider for their own product.


Thanks for your time in reading this blog, feel free to reply/disagree or hurl abuse. I love a good argument.

Read 1779 times Last modified on Monday, 12 October 2015 16:04



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