The pandemic affected all sectors of the economy both in the US and around the world. For many, it may be time to re-evaluate your business's needs for brick-and-mortar locations. One key element that every organization will be looking to enhance is easy and reliable access to applications and data from anywhere.
The massive transition from office workers to a remote workforce meant that businesses needed to invest more in helping their users work remotely effortlessly. It became clear for many that the Cloud is a necessity rather than a choice. In this article, we look at the things you need to consider when re-evaluating your business' footprint.
Do You Need an Office?
Contrary to what you might be thinking, your business may still need an office. It is important to note that most companies will gain customer credibility. Your clients will view your establishment as a 'bona fide business because you have a more professional face. Having an office(s) allows you to interact with clients in a professional environment. That professional environment plays an essential role in transactions that need a face-to-face meeting.
Not having a physical office does not significantly change the number of computers you will need. Each employee will continue to need a device to connect back to your applications and data. This will likely be a laptop moving forward, but we strongly recommend that the business buys the computer and handles all the maintenance, software updates, and support. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has gained some popularity in the past five years, but the IT department that must support the mixed environment that BYOD creates has a more complicated task.
Are You in the Cloud?
With cloud computing, you get to choose between two major categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The one you choose will depend on the needs of your business along with the availability of your applications in the SaaS (Software as a Service) form. Maybe even more important, the comfort level that senior management has with the Cloud. Engaging with an outside firm to help you think through your options is something that an outsourced IT firm like TCS does.
SaaS is gaining popularity for software developers. Because it is easier for them to support their application if they own and control everything but the browser on your remote computer. Microsoft Office 365 for email or G-Suite for applications would also qualify as SaaS. You pay monthly for the number of licenses you need, which can rise or fall as your firm grows or shrinks.
IaaS can be looked at in several ways. Colocation is where you own the physical server(s), but they are "hosted" at a data center. You might own the physical server(s), or you might lease them, but either way, they are yours, and you will need to support, patch, and secure them.
Another way is to have a virtual server(s) in a data center. There is no hardware to buy; you lease the computing power that you use each month like your power bill. Typically, you will still need to support, patch, and secure these servers as if they were physical servers in your office.
If you are not in the Cloud yet, it may be time you started looking seriously at moving all or part of your business to cloud computing. Some of the advantages include reliability, flexibility, scalability, data security, and much more.
Which is Better: On-Premise, all Cloud, or a Hybrid?
What is the fundamental difference between on-premises and cloud computing? The answer is straightforward: on-premises are company-owned servers that are physically at the brick-and-mortar office. Cloud can be a SAAS (Software as a Service) application hosted on the software vendor's servers, or you can buy the software and install it on leased virtual servers in a data center. The reliability and redundancy gained from being in the Cloud would be prohibitively expensive to build on-premise. So for many clients that need 24x7x365 access to applications and data, it just makes sense.
On-premise is more comfortable for some organizations because they like knowing their data is on-site, where they can put their hands on it if they want to. An all-Cloud solution is typically more reliable, more flexible, and more secure than on-premise. Hybrid is an environment that combines both Cloud and On-Premise.
Typically, a cloud-based solution does not include patching, updating, and maintaining your server(s); that is something that you will either need to do yourself or outsource. It would be best to consider where your strengths lie and what makes the most sense to spend your time on.
Whether you choose Cloud, on-premise, or a hybrid option it comes down to the size of your business, how fast you are changing, and personal preferences. For cloud computing to be a possibility, you need to have a reliable Internet connection. You will need a solid Internet connection to make cloud computing work for office staff, those at home, and on the road. A cloud solution allows you to have reliable anytime access to your business applications and data via the Internet.
Are you considering changing the amount of Cloud or on-premise computing you will use after the pandemic? You can contact us at any time to discuss business strategy with experienced experts. Total Computer Solutions will design a solution that will provide reliable access to keep your employees productive. We work within your business's needs and constraints to develop secure, reliable solutions.