In this day and age, our businesses rely on IT. If the internet goes down, if our computers act up, or the server fails, business can grind to a halt. Unfortunately the great enabler of business, IT, is a nightmare for some. When I talk to businesses about their IT issues, I am struck by how painful they find the whole IT experience. Their problems are generally a combination of old PC’s running old un-refreshed, virus-ridden copies of Windows, Server problems and Internet issues. On top of those issues they are also stuck on the server upgrade merry-go-round, where every 3-4 years a new server and all the server software needs to be purchased because either the server or some software is not supported any more. Together with a server upgrade they also find their new software needs new PC’s. Most businesses spend around $20,000 on that exercise. The Microsoft server software alone can be almost as much as the server hardware. A recent quote had the server at $10,000 and the Microsoft server and email software at around $8,000.
There is another way – Hosting (or “The Cloud”). It is not suitable for every business, but all businesses should consider it.
Every business should consider hosting their IT in the clowd.
Here’s how it works.
Your server is no longer required as all the functions it performed are done by a “virtual” server in our datacentre in Brisbane. Each staff member connects via the Internet to a “virtual” PC in our Datacentre – their physical PC at the office performs just one task – done by a small program we install – to copy the screen picture on their virtual PC in our datacentre to the physical monitor on the PC. This requires only a very basic low-powered PC – even an old PC is fine.
Here are some of the advantages:
1. No server on site any more – just the Internet router, network and PC’s or laptops.
2. Therefore no large capital purchase buying a new server every three years.
3. Pay-by-the-month with no lock-in clauses.
4. No need to buy new PC’s regularly – the old ones will be fine because the processing power is in our datacentre.
5. Latest copies of Microsoft Office included in the price and available whenever you want to move.
6. The full monthly payment is claimable as an operational expense, unlike leases or outright purchase, where only depreciation can be claimed.
7. Your business can be scaled up or down at will, paying only for what you use (monthly). We can within a few minutes provision more staff or remove staff and the billing will be adjusted accordingly. This makes hosting much more flexible than leasing a new server, where you must decide what to buy now that will fit the needs of the Business in up to three years’ time.
8. Work from anywhere – the same look and feel is available from anywhere. Work could be done from anywhere in the World with a similar internet connection speed.
9. Work practices may change and become work-from-home or work from anywhere activities.
10. Backups are taken care of – data in our main datacentre is replicated to our Springwood Datacentre in Logan City, Queensland. We can also set up backups of both data and emails to a separate 3rd party site.
11. Your data including all your emails resides at our offices at Springwood and in our City datacentre rather than at some unknown global location. You are able to walk up to our Springwood DataCentre and have a backup of all your data and emails copied to your external hard disk.
If you're considering hosting as an option for your business, take our 60 second quiz to see if it's the right fit.