Does the Cloud Have a Silver Lining?
The IT world is buzzing over the concept of ‘cloud computing’, with its promise to reduce the cost burden associated with procuring, installing and maintaining the IT infrastructure, that until now has always been located on-site. So, can it really live up to the all of the hype and is it a viable option for every organisation? Robert May, Managing Director of leading IT solutions consultancy ramsac tells us why.
Essentially, cloud computing involves trusting a third party – typically a service provider and a large datacentre, that could be located anywhere in the world – to host the organisation’s email, databases and other mission-critical systems, which are then accessed via a secure Internet connection. This can deliver compelling cost savings, which at first glance may appeal at a time when most organisations are looking to trim the fat from their operations. The trade off is that the organisation will lose direct and immediate access to many of its biggest assets, which would normally be located within its own four walls.
Clearly, there are also security and reliability risks to be considered. What would happen if there was a leak of confidential data, the Internet connection fails, or the service provider / datacentre encountered financial difficulties and is forced to close down? If the IT infrastructure and the information it holds isn’t within the possession of the organisation then its retrieval is not likely to be straightforward if at all possible, meanwhile the financial and resource cost would inevitably accrue as the organisation struggles to keep pace until a solution is found – which ultimately is likely to mean reverting back to an onsite approach!
Cloud computing is still in its infancy and it does definitely hold a number of attractive benefits for small start-up businesses that can ill afford the sizable set-up costs of a traditional IT infrastructure. It can deliver tangible saving to small organisations on the costs of running its own IT, but perhaps the definitive question to ask is – when does your company data become valuable enough to invest in your own secure IT infrastructure, to guarantee you know where it is and that it’s safe.
For further information on outsourcing your IT why not visit www.ramsac.com or telephone 0844 225 1600