Getting to the Cloud - Part 2: Should I?

Technology Pointe
by Technology Pointe
8/26/15 6:05 AM

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The answer is a definite "maybe" There are actually 3 separate scenarios to think about which we will address separately, from simplest to most complex.

The answer is a definite "maybe" There are actually 3 separate scenarios to think about which we will address separately, from simplest to most complex.

We are a brand new company and have no existing IT environment.

Cloud is an easy choice here. You can avoid large up front purchases and get more for your money.

Our current environment is working great, is relatively new, and nothing major is changing in our business.

Keep in mind our philosophy on the cloud - it is a better way to do what you are doing now. In this case we are usually hesitant to make a change for the sake of making a chance. Typical triggers for a move to the cloud should include things such as major expansions, new applications being deployed or upgrade cycles approaching.

We need to deploy a new application or it is time to upgrade an existing part of the IT environment.

This is the case for most people considering the cloud. Here are a few considerations:

- Is the application or service widespread in the cloud? Great example is email. If the answer is a resounding yes, strongly consider moving it to the cloud. However do your research first. Office 365 has some significant limitations and changes compared to an on-site email server, even older editions. And while Intuit's Quickbooks cloud offering seems great, it is actually a completely different product than the legacy version of QB which may not be suitable for your needs.

- How much data do you have? Cloud storage can get expensive for very large amounts of data. For companies with large amounts of data such as video or CAD drawings, the cloud may just be too expensive and slow. A typically office network is 100mbit or 1000mbit, while your internet connection (which gets you to the cloud) can be as slow as 10 or 20mbit. That can make opening and saving large files extremely slow and frusturating.

- How different will it be accessing your application via the cloud? Native cloud software makes it easy, all you need is a web browser. However other providers will require installation of third party applications such as a VPN to provide access to the cloud. This may or may not be acceptable depending on your requirements, but always make sure to have a clear understanding of how you will access your new cloud environment. One neat feature of the Technology Pointe cloud is our ability to provide seamless access from the office no matter what services you have purchased, so that users can access their applications and files as if the server was in house still.

- If it is a legacy application, the most important thing is can it be successfully moved to the cloud? Often times the answer is yes it can, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is so mature that it can provide the equivalent of running services in your office. However some applications end up being too complex or expensive to migrate.

Next up: Road to the Cloud - What to look for and expect during a cloud migration

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