As a small enterprise, you may have chosen to work with a managed service provider (MSP) to support your IT needs. That MSP removes the burden of making IT decisions in a silo, updates servers and software, and provides more time for you to focus on your business.
However, you are also dependent on the MSP’s business decisions and solution offerings. The MSP recommended and sold your business a server, which you housed in your office. The MSP maintained, updated and monitored all your hardware and software needs. Now, the MSP is moving from the traditional hardware and software offering to a ‘cloud-based’ offering.
What does that mean for your business?
When your MSP transitions from hardware to cloud-based services, the physical infrastructure you’ve grown accustomed to will become obsolete. Data will be hosted in a secure hosting facility – not on an on-premise server. Updates and maintenance will be made remotely, not on-site.
There are a few other concerns that cause hesitation in businesses accustomed to hardware-based service provision, including increased service costs, service reliability, and data security.
The “as-a-service” model means you no longer pay for your IT infrastructure upfront.
Instead, you’ll adopt a pay-as-you-go model for your infrastructure and service access. Over the lifetime of the agreement with your MSP, you will pay more for access to the infrastructure solutions.
Hardware and Cloud Server Costs
|Cost of a new server||$20,000||—||$20,000|
|Cost of cloud server||—||$400/month||$24,000|
*Note: Prices are meant for comparison and scale. Not actual costs.
The Upside: No Physical Infrastructure
While the cost of a cloud-based solution may be greater over the lifetime of the solution, there are so many upsides to a virtual solution.
- No hardware to physically maintain or update. You’ll always have access to the most recent cloud infrastructure and updates.
- No physical environment to maintain – meaning no heating/cooling costs for the server stack. No concern about power outages
By hosting your data in the cloud, your MSP removes any physical concerns about data availability and security.
With the IT infrastructure moved offsite, some businesses fear that the MSP will be too busy with their entire customer workload to address their specific business needs.
There’s also a concern that shared infrastructure in the cloud will contribute to unreliable data access. You may be concerned that your MSP won’t have time to manage your needs, or will even be overloaded by the needs of other. Or, that the virtual servers will be unavailable due to overloading by requests from other clients.
The Upside: Data Redundancy
The truth of the matter is, service is even more reliable in the cloud.
- Data is stored across an array of servers, ensuring that a copy is available in the unlikely event that disaster strikes the data center.
- Each client uses dedicated server space – not share space – in the cloud. That means your data will be available to you, at the speed you paid for, when you need it.
- Each client works with a dedicated account manager, accommodating your needs when you require assistance.
By hosting your data in the cloud, your MSP removes any concerns about service reliability by providing data redundancy SLAs.
For those businesses accustomed to physically storing data on-premise, the concept of hosting data virtually can raise questions about data security. If all your data is in the cloud, isn’t it prone to data breaches and malicious attack?
|The Concerns||The Benefits|
|Increased long-term costs||No physical infrastructure|
|Service reliability||Data redundancy|
|Data security||Reduced infrastructure costs|
|Free up your time|
The Upside: Cloud Security
The biggest risk associated with cloud hosting is the migration process. This is when data is most vulnerable and unprotected; the feed must be secured to ensure total integrity. With multiple copies of the data stored, the data will not be lost as multiple copies exist.
Once the data is stored in the cloud, your MSP will customize your security settings to meet your organization’s reporting and regulatory needs. Cloud security offers multiple levels of control to provide continuity and protection.
Cloud security relies on a breadth of tools that ensure data is safely stored and impenetrable in the cloud. Your data will be protected from cyber-attacks.
A cloud security solution provides support, including live monitoring, to ensure continuous access to data and application functionality.
Reclaim weekends and evenings
In the past, your staff would need to be on alert each and every time a server was being upgraded – or in the case of a power outage. When working with your MSP in the cloud, your team doesn’t need to worry about being available after hours. The MSP manages all the updates offsite – liberating your team to use their time as they see fit.
Peace of Mind in the Cloud
If you’ve been working with an MSP to meet your IT needs, you know how fragile the hardware-based eco-system can be.
That’s why moving to the cloud makes so much sense. Costs may escalate and carry over month-month, but you’ll always have someone to take care of your IT needs. That’s peace of mind!
Curious how other businesses have made the transition to the cloud? Read on!