Is the Cloud an Option for a Cash-Strapped Business?

cloud

When you’re setting up your business’s infrastructure, one of the hardest decisions you can make is choosing between cloud hosting or managing your own IT in-house. Each option has pros and cons and its own set of expenses, so it’s important to be fully educated on the two before committing to either choice for your business. This week, we’ll discuss the cost and benefits of cloud computing vs. in-house IT and discover which option saves you the most money.

Traditional IT

First, it’s important to know what each option has to offer your business. With traditional IT, your business is responsible for purchasing and hosting its own servers and having a system set up to maintain and manage them. For smaller businesses, you may get by with a PC or two, but most businesses choose the central IT setup to grow their infrastructure. Unfortunately, this comes with considerable costs. 

The benefits of traditional IT are that all of your data is stored in-house with no third-party interference, so it is often considered to be more secure than cloud hosting. Additionally, there are lower monthly fees associated with traditional IT than cloud computing.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting moves your entire infrastructure onto the cloud so there’s no direct management needed from the user. Solutions are not deployed on a single server, and applications and websites will be accessible to your employees using resources. 

Cloud computing has a number of benefits for your business as well. Firstly, and very notably, the provider handles all management of the underlying infrastructure, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a system to maintain your IT. Also, with cloud hosting, resources can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, which is wonderful for the many businesses that employ remote workers nowadays.

One drawback to cloud computing is that your infrastructure is entirely dependent on a strong internet connection. A broken or weak connection can result in serious delays or even downtime for your business.

Many people get nervous about their data’s security with cloud hosting, but on the hardware side of things, cloud computing resources are typically very reliable. You will have to consider how security works with data in transmission, but this is an issue that the IT professionals at 4 Corner IT can help you with.

Which Saves Me More Money?

So, you’re probably wondering if cloud computing can actually save your business money?

The answer is yes, typically.

With traditional IT, you’ll need to shell out a lot of money upfront for computing hardware, software licenses, and setup. All of this can easily stretch into a five-figure category for each server. However, the kicker is that after all of that upfront cost, traditional IT costs less to maintain per month than cloud computing. 

In the long run, though, cloud hosting still results in marginal cost savings over hosting an in-house IT structure. The difference in overall cost is usually minor, so it’s important to go with whichever option makes the most sense for your business, and not where you think you can save easy money.

Luckily, the technicians at 4 Corner IT can provide the specific cost/benefit analysis needed to make the perfect decision for your business’s IT plan. Give us a call at 954.474.2204 to determine if cloud computing is the right choice for your business!

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The Benefits of Working with an Information Technology Company

the benefits of working with an information technology company

If it’s not your forte, then working with an information technology company can help fix the weak links in your business operations. Here are some of the specific benefits businesses will receive:

Honest Advice

There’s no incentive for an information technology company to lie to you if you’re already paying them. As long as the company is reputable, you’ll get honest, credible advice for all of your technology issues.

No Jargon

Jargon is one of the things that makes information technology so complicated in the first place. The company is there to translate the jargon for you, not give you a double dosage of it.

Quick Upgrades

When you work with an IT company, you get access to quick upgrades for your software and hardware. You won’t have to worry about updating all of your computers or missing a security patch because one employee didn’t update his correctly.

Technology Recommendations

With all the options out there, it’s not uncommon for businesses to buy technology that they don’t necessarily need. Whether you’re buying a printer or server, an IT company can help guide you in the right direction.

More Productivity

With better technology and 24/7/365 support, your business will be more productive with the help of an IT company. All of these benefits will help you attract customers and provide better customer service.  

Cost Savings

In addition to becoming more productive, working with an IT company can help you cut down on costs. You won’t need as many full-time IT employees and you’ll get more shelf life out of your hardware.

An IT company can help you maintain your systems and hardware, improve your business operations, and save money. To talk more about working with an information technology company, contact us today.

Outsourced IT Support is a Leg Up to the Playing Field

outsourced it support is a leg up to the playing field

The thing about your internal enterprise IT support is that the latter is always a cost center and somewhat like a 25-pound weight around your otherwise lean midsection.

Who hasn’t cringed under the gimlet eye of the IT manager, who, in response to a suggestion or request for more data access has replied, “No, we can’t do that now.

Our system is maxed out because of the monthly usage reports we in the IT department need”?

OK, that’s somewhat of an extreme example, but it does conjure up familiar memories of the old-time IT support. It was like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz being warned not to look behind the curtain. You don’t know exactly what’s going on there, but you certainly know that when the system is down, it’s still gnawing at your bottom line.

Then there’s the effect of equipment aging when amortization deteriorates past depreciation and into another looming capital investment liability. All the while, everything you do and all the business records you have accumulated during the past ten years are in the form of digitized zeros and ones. Sure, everything is backed up, but what if your backup goes belly-up because of an act of God or the negligence of man?

You’re aware of your own playing field, because you’ve been competing out there. It’s like a three-legged race, and what you’re tethered to is both your cost of doing business and your lack of agility as equipment ages in the face of stiffer and increasing competition by hungry competitors, who are increasingly relying on and employing outsourced IT.

A great example of how effective the use of outsourced IT is our air traffic control system. Imagine if every airline had to do it’s own traffic control. For a start, we’d need private airports for each, and the redundancy and confusion would be unimaginable. Likewise, our air traffic control system is a classic example of leveling the playing field. All airlines, regardless of size and revenues, benefit from outsourcing a service to which each airline has immediate and equal access.

Analogies and metaphors notwithstanding, it may be time to take your IT support out of the realm of a significant cost center where you pay to be somewhat encumbered. Why not make your IT support a scalable and predictable expense? It is scalable in the sense that you pay for what you use, and it is predictable because you know its monthly costs without having to factor in breakdowns and training curves.

Here at 4 Corner IT we can give you that aforementioned leg up with a customized outsourced IT management program. We’ve been there a long time and are still doing that today.

Contact us and see how outsourced IT services can help you drop the burden of high IT costs.