Cloud computing is attractive for small and medium-sized businesses looking to make the most of the technology available today at lower costs and reduced risk. The upfront investment is low, they don’t need to invest in software and hardware, licensing and renewal costs are kept to a minimum, total cost of ownership is reduced and they only pay for what they use.Companies need to assess their business needs and infrastructure before taking a decision. Not all solutions work best in the Cloud or on-premise and the choice requires a review of all aspects of any solution.

The case for keeping everything on-site:

  • Total control over all systems and data
  • Business data needs to be stored internally
  • Own IT staff for maintenance and support
  • Investment at the outset is high, but pays off over time

The advantages of Cloud-based solutions:

  • The option of no software licensing and upgrade costs
  • No new hardware requirements, such as servers
  • No admin and maintenance
  • Low cost for services

Third parties are doing the hard workThe third, ‘Hybrid’ solution involves a mix of both platforms. Many businesses opt for this as an ideal ‘first step’ into the Cloud. Companies keep their secure on-site servers to handle file storage and applications, but use a Cloud-based package such as Office 365 for e-mail, on-line storage, file sharing and collaboration.