Think before you Cloud…


               It’s easy to get fed up with talk of the Cloud nowadays.

The last decade in information technology has been dominated by one thing – The Cloud. It’s a terms that gets thrown about liberally in the media, by tech companies and by IT consumers themselves. With this being the case most of us could be excused for feeling a little “Cloud-fatigued” (I’ll admit it, this writer certainly does).

OK, so we get the irony in the fact that we’re writing a blog about how people are tired of reading blogs about The Cloud. However, we think the reason for this fatigue is less the regularity with which the issue of The Cloud is raised but more to do with fundamental misunderstandings of what is actually meant by it.

As we’ve touched on already, The Cloud is a buzz subject that’s made its way into the public consciousness and is there to stay now. Despite this, most people don’t know what they actually mean by it when they throw the term around. It’s simply the latest and greatest technology trend – that’s reason enough for people to talk about it and want in on it.

In reality, The Cloud (and SaaS for that matter) can mean vastly different things to different people – Public Cloud; Private Cloud; Third Party Hosted Cloud; even an internally Hosted Cloud (for this option read barely removed from the on premise infrastructure solutions we are all familiar with).

Types of cloud computing

                          Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hosted Cloud… Its not always easy to spot the differences and which Cloud suits your business best.

So when The Cloud is mentioned people inevitably mean different things by it, which then leads to misinformation and confused conversations. It’s this element of The Cloud debate that people are actually sick and tired of and there’s only one remedy to the problem – knowing what you really mean, and what your requirements are, when it comes to cloud computing.

As software solution providers it’s equally, if not more, important for us to consider the various options, highlight the differences and advise based on client requirements when it comes to The Cloud. The different iterations and deployments of cloud systems can have a major bearing on the functionality that clients can access in both Sage 200 and SAP Business One, so determining what client’s actually mean by The Cloud when they indicate it as a requirement is massively important.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons we hear as to why The Cloud is a business preference:

“Everything else is in the Cloud”

When we are told this our immediate reaction is to ask a simple question, namely… “Is it?”

Most businesses that believe this is the case do so without really understanding how this cloud infrastructure is set up. And who can blame them? How their technology is set up isn’t their primary concern, they just want it to work, so when their IT provider tells them they’re using The Cloud then who are they to argue.

As we’ve touched on already though, this can mean various different things and it can often be a combination of cloud services that form the overall infrastructure.The type of system deployments available may therefore not be as restrictive as you first thought and, when functionalities in products like Sage 200 and SAP Business One can differ depending on the type of deployment, it’s definitely worth knowing the full story before you take the plunge.

“I need to be able to work from home”

OK, no worries, this is of increasing importance to most businesses nowadays but let’s run through the options – there’s still plenty open to you. What this doesn’t mean is that you need a 100% true cloud solution or nothing (potentially to the detriment of your business software’s effectiveness) – there’s  plenty of ways to skin the remote working cat (poor thing!).

Whether this is supported via remote access solutions to an on premise or hosted server or if a true cloud system is the best way to go for your business, we have experience working with them all and can help to bring working on the go within your grasp regardless.

“We don’t have any servers”

This is something we hear increasingly often and it’s testament to the proliferation of cloud-based IT that this can even be considered as a viable answer (as opposed to the ramblings of a raving lunatic).

Having said this though, it’s still the case that most of the time these businesses actually do have servers, they just don’t realise it.  These are often hosted servers or private environments based on popular web services like Microsoft Azure or AWS (Amazon Web Services). Again then, this is no reason from an infrastructure point of view to start ruling out options for system deployment if they are what offer the optimal solution to the client from a functionality point of view.

Now, in no way are we saying that The Cloud is not a great option for many businesses out there. To the contrary, it’s rare to find a business that is not now taking advantage of The Cloud in some way. However, what we would caution against is viewing it as some kind of technology panacea, the answer to every conceivable IT problem.

Cloud can mean a lot of different things to different people and these interpretations can have an impact on the functionality of your core business software. As a solutions provider we’re focused primarily on making sure your critical business systems help you run your business in the optimal way.

That’s why with dcs you won’t find a “Cloud at all costs” approach – no, you can trust us to identify THE RIGHT CLOUD AT THE RIGHT COST! 

If your business is considering The Cloud and this sounds like the kind of straightforward advice you need then get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to have a chat through the options.

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