So, you’ve heard that IT is moving to the cloud. But what should be in the cloud? Everything? How can we ensure secure communications and transfers? What about system uptime and maintenance? Can we use standard functions and “out of the box”? In this blog post, I will address the most typical questions that are asked regarding cloud solutions, and shed light on the benefits of moving to cloud solutions.
Mail as a cloud service is something we are all familiar with. But why do we still have a mail server in our data center when the same functionality is in the cloud? In the cloud there is no need for physical hardware, no downtime for running upgrades, no server license costs, but still with the same level of security, spam filtering, distribution lists and enough storage space for the whole company. The answer here is an easy one.
Storage and Backup
What about storage and backup? With cloud storage, you don’t have to plan for purchasing more storage and possible downtime for expansion, concerns about losing data if one or more disks fail, or scheduling and managing backups. Need more storage? This can be increased on-the-fly and with predictable costs. Backup? Already in the agreement and will be handled automatically.
User and Access Management
Access Management? Absolutely, the same way as you handle it today. If you use AD (Active Directory), you have several options. The most important question is: What are you using AD for today? Access control for files and folders? Group Affiliation? SingleSignOn? All this can be done in, for example, G Suite.
You might also have high IO databases for periods and pay a yearly price for it. But how often do you need the maximum performance? 4 times a year? You risk paying a fixed price for high performance, which you only use 4 times a year. With, for example, Google SQL, you can have a scalable database where you pay for high performance only when you need it.
McAfee conducted a survey of 1000 companies worldwide and found that the majority experience security to be better in the cloud. All traffic is encrypted. All storage is encrypted. You have the option of two-factor authentication. And, as mentioned, you can use G Suite as an SSO solution for programs and services that support the normal protocols. It’s also important to remember that providers like Google and ServiceNow stay updated on threats and attacks, they have resources that monitor all of your services, and they stay updated on all certifications.
Servers and virtual machines
Handling servers and virtual machines is easier to do in the cloud. You can automatically provision new servers and machines with an integration with, for example, ServiceNow, where your users can order what they need. Do they need some extra performance for a period of time? Or do they need to simulate an entire network of machines? The environments can be set up to automatically scale up or be scaled “on-demand” based on user orders made in ServiceNow.
Maintenance, Updates and Upgrades
When buying traditional IT services in the cloud, you get guarantees on uptime as well as maintenance and upgrade agreements. The routines of keeping your ecosystem up-to-date at all times are thus transferred to the supplier. Because new functionality is now being released several times a year, it takes a lot of work to deal with this yourself.
Everything is in the cloud, what now?
First and foremost, you have given your employees more freedom and a simpler working life. They can now get all the necessary tools through a browser, whether they are on the company’s premises, on their way to work, at home office, or abroad. The freedom to work from anywhere is a benefit of choosing services in the cloud, and it is one of the things that will become increasingly important for employees in the years to come.
Collaboration has also become easier. Instead of having 6 copies of the same document sent back and forth by email, everyone can have an updated version in the cloud they can all edit at the same time.
You also avoid some manual tasks by streamlining and automating the processes, so that the right group of resources only gets the manual tasks if needed. By moving to the cloud, you will free up internal resources to focus on more important things, such as developing the services you sell, improving quality and development.
At The Cloud People, we have long experience in helping companies move all or part of their applications to the cloud. We have expertise in the design, implementation and optimization of cloud solutions and can assist you in all stages of the process. Contact us for a free workshop where we can look at your needs.