Important Things Your Houston Business Needs To Consider Before Using The Cloud

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Cloud ComputingCompTIA, an IT industry trade association, recently revealed that over 80% of businesses today use cloud computing solutions such as virtual machines, or to access on-demand applications.

What the Experts Say

According to Laura Maio, from Trend Micro businesses use cloud solutions in three different ways:

  • They use the public cloud as an extension of their internal IT infrastructure,
  • They use the public cloud for faster access to servers and resources and for increased storage capabilities, and
  • Increasingly they are establishing secure private clouds that function like public ones.

Ed Mahon, VP and CIO of Kent State believes in using the cloud, but only if IT departments and businesses use it in an intelligent fashion.  He was able to save Kent State $650,000 a year by moving all their email to Microsoft 365, along with de-commissioning 30 servers.

Experts agree that using the cloud makes sense in today’s technology driven world. But they also recommend having a complete IT assessment beforehand. The following are important facts you need to consider before switching to the cloud.

There are differences in the types of clouds.

There are a variety of clouds and each has their own characteristics and applications. You can choose from:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service), where you access applications online.  With this option you simply access the applications but you don’t have control over the server.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service), where you can store and access your own applications on a third-party server, and where you can control the use of applications and specify users.
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), where you access raw server power over the Internet.

It’s important for you to understand which one is right for you before your move your data.

Don’t just jump to the cloud on your own. Determine the overall benefits to your business.

You also must assess the overall benefits of migrating to the cloud and how processes can be accomplished more efficiently and securely using the cloud.  CITOC and our cloud experts are here to help you with this determination.

The cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Your business will require a complete IT assessment to ensure you are using the right type(s) of cloud solutions. There’s no recipe or one set of guidelines to determine this. Hiring an IT expert like NSI is your best bet because we know what to look for and how to customize cloud solutions to fit your particular business needs.

The cloud helps you meet legal, financial and regulatory compliance

Government laws mandate that financial, legal, and patient health data must be stored on your business’s servers; otherwise you could be hit with fine. In this case a hybrid cloud solution might be best for you, one that supports a secure-file synchronization and sharing.

Ensure redundancy

Cloud solutions rarely go down as these data centers have redundancy built in using multiple servers.  Your uptime with cloud solutions is typically 99.9%.  Better than any other solution. Also be sure that you keep multiple copies of your files on the cloud with connections between them to ensure when one file is updated, they all are.  NSI can handle this for you.

Not All Cloud Providers Are Alike

Not all clouds are the same. Google and Apple Clouds won’t give you the customization you can get from an NSI cloud solution with customized properties and settings.  We can also ensure you have business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities for when systems go down due to natural or manmade disasters.

Migrate applications to the cloud properly.

This isn’t something you should attempt on your own.  NSI can do this for you so you won’t lose your IT investments.  When migrating your on-premise applications to a cloud setting it must be done in a methodical step-by-step fashion. If it isn’t done exactly right you’ll experience outages, bad performance and possibly lose access to your applications.

Ensure your cloud is easy to use to avoid staff bypassing it.

If your cloud solution isn’t easy to operate, or you staff isn’t trained to use it properly, they may bypass your private cloud and unknowingly expose your private data to the public using a public cloud.  People today are working frantically to keep up; the least delay or frustration will send them to use an easier one.  CITOC will ensure your customized cloud solutions are user friendly and we’ll train your employees to use them.

Monitor constantly

Things can go wrong, even with the best cloud solutions.  So they need to be monitored 24/7/365 to ensure your data is always safe and accessible.  CITOC can do this remotely, saving you from this constant worry. We keep a close eye on your cloud-based applications and data, and catch problems before they become serious issues.

Having a cloud solution doesn’t mean you can just walk away without a care.

Managing data on the cloud is a daily responsibility, and if you don’t have a large IT department with staff who can commit to this you’ll be in trouble. Again, this is where CITOC can manage and monitor your cloud operations 24/7/365 so you don’t have to worry.

Contact CITOC today for more information about which cloud solutions are best for your business.  Call toll-free at (713) 490-5000 or email us at info@citoc.com.

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