If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably spent some time researching how to become more competitive in your industry, and you may have discovered that giving your IT department a boost can help you get ahead in more ways than one. Building out your information technology environment—upgrading your servers and systems, moving to the cloud, securing your data, backing up your processes, recruiting more IT manpower—is always a smart investment for the well-being and long-term development of your business. But for many leaders in the SMB market, all of these IT improvements can seem confusing, expensive, and difficult to set up without interrupting day-to-day operations.
One of the simplest and most beneficial ways to get ahead of the competition through IT is in the adoption of cloud computing with cloud backup and recovery services. And no surprise here—we want to make sure all modern business leaders understand that the cloud is not as confusing as they think, is cost-effective and manageable, and won’t interfere with productivity during setup.
Let’s review cloud computing basics, take a look at two great cloud service options, and get advice from seasoned IT experts on finding the right cloud solution for your business.
Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid
There are three major types of cloud environments: the public cloud, the private cloud, and the hybrid cloud. You can learn more through a deep dive of each cloud type’s features and benefits, but for the average business owner, it’ll do you good to simply understand the basics.
The Public Cloud: Available to anyone, this type of cloud is great for saving businesses time and money, as the third-party providers for public clouds manage all ongoing maintenance and offer all hardware, software, and supporting structure. Public clouds are customizable, flexible, and the perfect fit for pay-per-usage applications, allowing businesses to pay only for the space they use. Examples of commercial apps in the public cloud include Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Dropbox, and Salesforce.
The Private Cloud: Also known as the internal or enterprise cloud, the private cloud is a cloud environment that contains hardware, data storage, and servers dedicated only to one business. This means a higher level of security, privacy, and control is available to the business, and it’s often a more expensive choice than the public cloud. All the behind-the-scenes maintenance, however, must be executed by the business’s own IT team, or the business can enlist the help of the private cloud’s provider.
The Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid clouds allow businesses to shift workloads between on-premises, public, and private clouds as their needs change. The two types of clouds communicate through an orchestration engine, and with multiple environments, businesses can leverage their public and private cloud providers to run workloads in the environment that makes the most sense to support their business.
Microsoft Azure is a suite of public cloud services that uses Microsoft datacenters to allow users to build, deploy, and manage applications through integrated tools. Because it’s a public cloud solution, Azure offers unlimited scalability, on-demand resources, and more than 100 services. It works with any development tool and language and provides end-to-end management experience tools for monitoring, patching, and backup.
Businesses might opt for a public cloud like Azure for running their business continuity and disaster recovery servers for scalability and security, moving their Windows or Linux servers, modernizing their data platform, creating custom web or mobile apps, or developing and testing apps.
The Razor Technology Cloud
The Razor Technology Cloud is a fully managed hosted cloud solution that delivers turnkey and custom cloud solutions with self-managing capacity, performance, data protection, and availability. It offers high, but not unlimited, scalability and is the best choice for sensitive and business critical operations. The Razor Technology Cloud offers IaaS, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), backup as a service (BaaS), and other proactive services such as patch management, alerting and monitoring, and custom lifecycle services that operate as an extension of a business’s existing IT team.
The Razor Technology Cloud brings a very different interaction model to the table for modern business owners because it doesn’t ask them to have preexisting knowledge about managing an IT environment. It’s the simple solution for business leaders and their IT teams, who can come to the MSP with existing challenges or business goals and receive guidance by the experts.
What Most Business Owners Underestimate about the Cloud
Even after learning the basics and evaluating their options, many business leaders kick off a partnership with an MSP with several misconceptions about the cloud. Confront your own concerns by learning what other business owners underestimate about the cloud.
- The benefits the cloud brings to other areas of a business. The cloud can help improve business continuity, customer support, and operational efficiency, save companies time and money, allow room for hiring more staff, and open doors for new revenue generating investments.
- The care and attention that these systems require. The days of “set it and forget it” are gone, and it can take a lot of manpower to maintain cloud computing systems and entire IT environments.
- The competition’s technology and the capabilities they have in outperforming others through IT. With the cloud, competitors are building better and more sophisticated applications that are integrated, enabling more collaboration with customers, partners, and suppliers while allowing faster time to market.
- The importance of digital transformation and the speedy pace of change in their specific industry. Online transactions are a must, mobile is a must, and more businesses need to recognize the importance of modernization to start creating their own digital transformation story before it’s too late.
- Cloud computing costs, because it’s common that many businesses new to adopting the cloud haven’t spent very much money at all to manage their IT in the past, the sticker shock of cloud computing is very real.
Hear from the Experts
I had a discussion with Razor Technology’s Jeff Thompson, who answered some of the biggest questions surrounding the cloud and its many variations.
What type of cloud and cloud service provider is right for my business?
Jeff Thompson: Choosing a cloud service provider is less about either/or and more about getting the best of both worlds. Some customers have diverse requirements that should be met with best-of-breed solutions, and some have challenges and objectives that can be met with extra IT help and simple solutions. Each type of cloud and service provider is right for any business—the question is simply what services you decide to subscribe to and what goals you want to achieve.
What benefits does The Razor Technology Cloud have over Microsoft Azure for SMB owners and small IT teams?
JT: The Razor Technology Cloud offers a service portfolio that’s easy to understand and comes with a dependable price model, complete with a variety of pre-engineered, proactive solutions that act as an extension of the small business’s IT team. We generally speak to our customers about the outcome they wish to achieve and avoid bothering them with the nuances of how our team helps get them there, unless they’re interested in learning those details.
For example, most of our customers don’t understand or want to be bothered about how we configure data replication or orchestrate recovery—they just want to know that their data is protected and that we’re going to meet their RTO and RPO requirements. We’ll handle the rest!
How should business owners prepare for adopting cloud computing services?
JT: Customers should first spend time thinking about what they want to achieve as a business before making any platform decisions, whether that’s about the cloud or about on-premises solutions. By focusing on what outcomes they wish to see, they can measure the applicability of any solution against them, both from a business cost and a business value perspective.
Get a Cloud Readiness Assessment
At Razor Technology, the cloud isn’t a solution—it’s your solution. Find out the options that best fit your business with a free cloud readiness assessment. In this assessment, we’ll take a comprehensive look at your existing IT environment and long-term objectives to discover how the cloud can benefit your business. Tell us your challenges, and we’ll create your solution. Contact us to schedule your cloud readiness assessment today.