Solving Your Cloud Conversion Confusion

From CIOs to CFOs, there’s one question on the minds of most of them when tasked with whether or not they should migrate their networks to the cloud. The biggest struggle? Cost. No doubt, if you’re reading this post, the topic of cloud computing in your company is probably on your mind. If you’re read the news lately, you know it’s difficult to ignore the prevalence of cloud advertising. But is the move a smart one that can save your company money?

In this post, we’ll outline different aspects of the cloud to consider when trying to assess whether to make the move or stick with your current infrastructure. First, you need to understand the technology. For example, many different types of cloud services exist.

Public clouds are obviously accessible by anyone. They can provide workload applications to your users such as email or provide communications for your staff collaborating on multi-user projects.

Private cloud environments are typically best for companies looking to centralize their networks while also keeping out unauthorized users. On-premises clouds are hosted at your location and exist behind your firewalls for enhanced security. Off-site environments still offer you security and privacy but are hosted by a third-party offsite providers.

Another form called hybrid offers a combination of private and public environments. Often companies that provide services to customers yet need to maintain parts of their network on a more secure system choose a hybrid formation.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) usually provides the lowest overall cost. But what does it do? Think of IaaS as an outsourced provider which host your hardware and software offsite. They also offer server storage and other components necessary for your users to perform their daily work.

The benefit of using an IaaS platform is it’s highly scalable. Thus, as your organization and resource demand grows, so does your IaaS plan. Most IaaS plans offer you a per-user rate which often is by the hour, week and even in some instances by the month. Essentially, it’s a pure pay-as-you-go service so there’s no worry of capital expenditures other than your service fee.

Two providers we use for many of our IaaS clients is Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Another type of cloud exists called Software as a Service (Saas). In this structure, your company uses software products from a provider rather than going the traditional route of buying one software license per machine.

SaaS is ideal for organizations with many users that need to use identical versions of a software product. Think global when you consider SaaS as it provides your company with the power to update your user software versions as well as manage updates for your entire network. SaaS offers full services over the Internet while putting maintenance and update management in the hands of the vendor providing your company SaaS.

Cloud confusion can be difficult if your company officers aren’t fully aware of the technology demand your organization needs on a daily basis. You should first pinpoint your requirements by evaluating your resources.









3 Top Benefits of Outsourcing via the Cloud

The cloud has opened up numerous opportunities for today’s businesses, allowing even the smallest start-up to compete against corporate giants. As a business considers outsourcing tasks to contract workers and third-party providers, the cloud opens up even more possibilities. Here are three major cloud benefits your organization should consider before beginning an outsourcing project.

Real-Time Collaboration

Outsourcing has the potential to save a business money and improve efficiency, but poor communication can derail an entire project. Cloud collaboration tools like Basecamp and Google Apps for Business give organizations the ability to communicate with outsourcing service providers in real time, saving valuable time that can keep your projects on track.

Accessibility from Anywhere

The cloud makes it easy for professionals to connect and collaborate, whether they’re in an office on a PC or on the road on a mobile device. For both employees and outsource service providers, this provides a level of convenience a business wouldn’t otherwise have, opening up the ability to work on projects and get status updates on the go. With cloud collaboration tools, professionals always have access to the latest version of a document or file, reducing the risk of two employees working on the same file separately.

Security Control

Without having to adjust security settings, businesses can also give outsource workers the ability to log in and see only the information they need to see to do their jobs. This gives businesses the peace of mind of knowing their sensitive work data will remain safely behind firewalls, accessible only to the full-time employees who have access.

As your business grows, you’ll likely find you’re working with outsourcing service providers more often. By using cloud-based collaboration tools, you’ll be able to streamline the process, making it easier for your team members to communicate and work in coordination with third-party providers, even if they’re on the other side of the world.

Cloud Redefines Outsourcing in Multiple Industries

The stigma once attached to outsourcing is quickly fading as businesses realize there are many ways to send work offsite. Thanks to the growing popularity of cloud hosting, businesses are discovering that certain tasks can be completed by contractors and service providers directly from an online account. Third-party providers can log into the site and view and complete work without being able to access sensitive company information.

Outsourcing Transactional Tasks

As automation and outsourcing has replaced certain jobs, professionals are shifting attention toward higher-level tasks such as strategy and management. After obtaining a college degree and/or years of experience in a field, an employee is unlikely to be interested in a job that requires sorting through pages of data to find one item. These tasks can easily be sent to the cloud to be handled by an offsite employee.

Helping with the transition is that it is gradual. Large staffs aren’t being replaced by outsourcing. Instead, individual mundane work is being outsourced as current employees simply become too busy to handle them. This allows staff members to turn their attention to higher-level tasks, which pushes a business in the direction it needs to go to grow.

Software as a Service

Part of the outsourcing trend can be traced back to the growing popularity of Software as a Service (SaaS), which allows tasks such as HR and database development to be automated. Once automated, employees can serve in an administrator capacity, reviewing information and issuing approvals as needed.

The cloud has made it easier than ever for businesses to send tasks offsite. The many collaboration tools available today allow businesses to work together on projects in the same place, allowing for streamlined management of both onsite and offsite workers. This helps businesses save money without losing the team mentality that makes their organization strong.