Cloud computing has now blown by older, on-site computing models for business. Why? It’s simply better and gives the business owner more options and better financial controls. But questions about making use of the cloud still linger in the minds of many business owners. The biggest question of all seems to be, “Which Cloud Solution is Right for My Business?”
Just the Cloud: If a business only uses the cloud, everything is done through a web-browser and can be accessed by practically any device, from anywhere. In this scenario, all of your data and applications are stored in the cloud, accessed in the cloud, and used in the cloud.
Hybrid Cloud: For those concerned about performance, compliance, or security restrictions a mixture – or hybrid – of the cloud and internal IT systems is a valid option. This method of cloud utilization gives the flexibility of housing some of your data and applications on-site while taking advantage of the flexibility and cost-saving features that the cloud offers.
Point Solutions: For the business that wants the powerful features of Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint without hosting them on their own in-house server, the cloud is the perfect hosting option. This configuration gives the business the freedom of movement it needs as it allows them access to email on their iPad or smartphone while on the road.
Private Cloud or Public Cloud? The simplest analogy here is the difference between public roads and private roads. A public road has rules, is built by someone else, and you pay for part of it with your taxes. A private road is built by you, paid for by you, and you make up the rules. These are the basic differentiators between public and private cloud solutions. Public cloud offerings are owned by another company, are open to the public, and you pay to use a portion of them – usually by subscription with your credit card. Private cloud solutions are infrastructure that you build, maintain, and own. Private cloud solutions are often the choice of companies that are regulated, have a high privacy threshold, or need to control the rules of their IT environment.
Because every business is unique, each solution has its pros and cons for a particular business.
It takes the insight of a professional to examine your business processes, goals, and tolerances to determine which cloud solution is right for your business.