Our recently published article for AUBIS Magazine explaining  how "The Cloud" can work for your organisation by centralising management, streamlining data and reducing overall expenses, you can read on below.

Although the term has been around for over a decade a lot of businesses are still coming to terms with how “the cloud” can work for them. In essence the cloud provides access to your data and files from anywhere in the world. It all sounds great but what are the real benefits to your organization and how do you choose the right cloud provider?

Let’s start with the advantages of cloud computing:

1. Flexible working environments.

The Cloud makes this concept easier by allowing staff to work remotely and allowing the same office data seamlessly accessible off-site. Even the same desktop can be used at home as in the office with all the same apps, access to printers and shared files making working remotely extremely productive. Imagine how easy this makes travelling – all you need to do is log in and you have access to all your data thats usually held in the office.

In addition, allowing more staff to work remotely gives you the opportunity to streamline and reduce your operational footprint. Other benefits of cloud include a decrease in office space, power and other onsite expenses. Why not implement a BYOD “Bring Your Own Device” policy to further reduce computer expenses. Great for employees too as they can claim their personal computers for business use and reduce their tax.

2. Company Security Compliance & Risk reduction policies.

Centralizing data in the cloud allows you to more easily adhere to strict company, government and data security compliance policies including PCI, PSPF, IRAP, AGSVA and many more.

3. Data availability and productivity.

We all know the importance of having a good Disaster Recovery plan in place and being able to restore your data if an emergency hits. Cloud functionality ensures short lead-time for recovery of your data minimizing any downtime for your staff and clients.

4. Cost reduction. The cloud allows you to reduce costs in several key areas including:

  • Reduce hardware costs, as core services will be in the cloud.
  • No long contracts. An organization can simply scale up or down the resources it requires on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Reduce support costs. When moving desktops to the cloud it’s easy for I.T. to log in and troubleshoot issues.
  • Taking physical desktops out of the equation helps speed up resolution time and gets staff back to work quicker.
  • Reduce operational footprint (see ‘Flexible Working Environments’).

There are also numerous benefits of choosing a cloud solution based within Australia. These include:

  • Data legalities and privacy laws differ from country to country so an Australian based system ensures you adhere to Australian law.
  • Quicker Data Access Speed within your home country as US based cloud can result in slower data speeds.
  • Support & Management – If you need fast, efficient and generally more reliable support during business hours then you need a local cloud.

5. Key elements to look for in your Cloud Hosting Provider

  • Scalability

Always ensure the cloud hosting services provider you choose is able to expand and contract resources in a reasonable timeframe with minimal down time.

  • Compatibility

When choosing a cloud provider, ensure that it works seamlessly with your current environment. This ensures the least amount of fuss and cost when transferring your data into the cloud.

Make sure you do your research and choose a cloud strategy that works for your organization e.g. Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid Cloud.

  • Value for Money

Costs vary dramatically so pay particular attention to the following:

– Deployment and setup costs – Ongoing maintenance and management – Support and maintenance – Migration costs (optional depending on the cloud strategy) – IP Transit costs (fixed unlimited vs / GB)

  • Ongoing Support

What type of support is on offer? Some good questions to ask are:

– Are managed services available where all or a portion of support can be outsourced to the cloud provider? – If you have existing contracted or in-house I.T. staff can they easily manage the cloud platform? – Is there readily available support documentation to assist with platform management tasks? – Is there an option for the cloud provider to deliver the entire solution and support after the initial deployment and hand-over? – Are there SLAs – Service Level Agreements in place and what do they cover?

5. Cloud Strategy & Consultancy

Can your cloud provider deliver the correct cloud strategy for your environment? It’s important to know if you’re going to be pigeonholed into a one size fits all solution or if the provider can supply a range of solutions to meet requirements.

With over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry, Gerardo Altman is the owner of Velocity Host, an Australian based Cloud Computing Provider specialising in services for Cloud Resellers and B2B Cloud Hosting. For more information on “Moving To The Cloud” take a look at our Virtual Data Center platform

Gerardo Altman

With over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry, Gerardo Altman is a key solutions architect and MD of Velocity Host, an Australian-based IaaS - Infrastructure As A Service provider specialising in enterprise cloud solutions.