Migrating your business to the cloud needs thought and planning to succeed. But why choose the cloud? What are the advantages? We hope to demonstrate these to you.
The danger with on-premise is that in most small business scenarios you solely rely on a single device for information. A file server can run out of disk space, need regular maintenance, can crash, fail a backup and often requires workarounds for external access (such as VPNs, portals, firewall configuration).
The advantages of the cloud – all files are encrypted when transferring to and from the cloud and also when stored, you benefit from increased security options, makes collaboration with staff and external people easier, multiple people can work simultaneously on a document and interact with one another, files are stored in a cluster of multiple servers which are accessible anywhere worldwide and backups are automatic.
The danger with on-premise email servers – Internet or server failure stops all access and transport of emails to and from your business stop instantly. You cannot work from home or remotely because the emails never make it to and from the server, aggressive spam can tie up your internet connection, blacklisting of your office IP address may prevent you from sending emails and the server requires many security updates to stay on top of protection and defend against intrusion. Whats more, you’re more likely to fail an external penetration test for PCI DSS Compliance by failure of simple procedures.
The advantages of cloud email – up to date security, advanced spam and malware filtering, email is accessible from anywhere, fast and scalable, no need to update server infrastructure with huge savings associated IT support costs. If the office internet connection fails you can work from anywhere externally or use a 4G connection.
Below, we have compiled some scenarios encountered by some customers and how they were overcome.
Here’s a few scenarios differentiating between cloud and on-premise working
On premise file sharing
Traditionally a company would have users that would utilise company network drives with files stored in folders on a server, or series of servers. These files would need regular backups, manually taken to an off-site location daily. The server would be maintained by an IT company who would in turn ensure that this single server stays online and available with occasional updates and maintenance to take place accordingly. An upgrade cycle to take place every 3-5 years to new hardware as technology evolved. Users might choose to work from home and require external access to a file server. External access to a server inside your business needs planning. Access type, password strength, controlling access.
Issues encountered with on site file sharing
The above business decided that a single point of failure was a high risk for their business. Their dependancy on a single source of company files was uncomfortable, the backup was running; or at least they were certain it was. Also, suffering from performance bottlenecks the company had outgrown the performance of their current server and required a better solution. They wanted file revisioning, anywhere secure access with 2-step authentication, scalability with company growth and less dependancy on their current IT support requirements. This led to a solution of cloud based file sharing and document management.
Cloud based file sharing
A solution of Sharepoint Online was suggested. Part of the Office 365 Product Family. Users moved files stored in their local my documents to their managed onedrive for business storage. This was easy, as 1Tb of storage is included per user. Common files were moved to sharepoint document libraries and benefitted from the advanced search and editing capabilities. 2-step authentication was switched on to further increase security and control access. Files were versioned and revision copies were kept at each file save. Some staff preferred office online and chose to work within the confined of a web browser. It was just – simple.