Small and medium-sized businesses still relying on on-premise equipment for daily functions may be in for a bit of a surprise if they continue to do so. Cloud computing has made legacy equipment somewhat of an afterthought for forward-thinking firms. Companies have realized they no longer have to allocate large upfront capital investments for on-site hardware, instead opting to rent cloud services to obtain similar capabilities - paying for resources they consume through a subscription-based pricing model.
InfoWorld's J. Peter Bruzzese asserted companies' futures are not with on-premise solutions but in the cloud. He explained there will always be a debate between the operating expenses associated with the cloud and the capital expenditures of the on-site hosting strategy.
"Although there are trade-offs no matter what a firm chooses, it's clear that [operating expenses] is increasingly favored. In the age-old rent-versus-buy debate, the cloud is making rental very compelling, especially as managed cloud environments begin to implement tools that provide automated spin-up/spin-down to avoid excessive consumption of resources (and higher costs)," Bruzzese wrote.
Cloud computing is simply more flexible than traditional IT
In addition to the cost-reducing capabilities of cloud computing, the technology also has another significant advantage compared to on-premise tools. Bruzzese highlighted the benefits of Microsoft products such as Azure and Office 365 to emphasize this point. Firms interested in adopting the cloud-based productivity suite can do so without having their IT department add users. Instead, organizations only need an office manager who performs this task through an easy-to-use Web interface.
Bruzzese wrote he logged onto a Microsoft Windows Azure portal to select a template that included SharePoint and Windows Server 2012, downloading the service in only minutes. He admitted he could have performed a similar task with an on-premise system, but it would have required a great amount of time and an infrastructure to host it.
He added that companies can accomplish these results with other cloud services, but he went with Azure because of its integration with other Microsoft technologies - a hallmark of the tech giant's overall strategy.
SMBs may not have a better choice than the cloud
SMBs cannot go head-to-head with large enterprises and expect to spend more on IT solutions. What they can do, however, is operate smarter than they have been doing. Cloud computing is clearly a more agile and cost-effective option in many regards than aging on-site suites. It seems that firms are realizing the cloud is not a tool that will help them down the road, but one that will reshape their operations today.
A j2 Global survey found nearly 90 percent of SMBs have a desire to or wish they could replace their legacy equipment. Almost 60 percent of these respondents believe they can save money by leveraging cloud services in 2014.
Mike Pugh, marketing vice president at j2 Global, emphasized the digital office craze is driving the SMB marketplace.
"With the cost-savings and increased productivity entrepreneurs gain as they move more of their business functions to the cloud, we're not surprised this 2014 survey finds SMBs planning to further leverage social media, virtual phone services, email marketing and online faxing," Pugh said. "The overall message from the survey is that the cloud just makes smart business sense for the SMB."
Revamp your IT infrastructure with Beringer Associates
SMBs on the fence about whether cloud computing is truly for them should contact a leading IT services provider such as Beringer Associates for assistance. At Beringer, we will work directly with your company to analyze your unique operational needs, end-user preferences and industry demands to create a personalized roadmap to ensure long-term success for your IT infrastructure.
Our team of IT professionals will recommend whether your business should migrate to the cloud, maintain an on-site system or opt for a combination of both. Once any product is launched, we deliver 24/7 support to perform continued maintenance of the environment, implement any updates and quickly address disruptions that may harm operational efficiency.
Bruzzese asserted the capabilities of cloud computing are not in the future but the present. Contact Beringer today to maximize your investments in cloud services and any other IT products.