Managing Windows applications and servers remotely in a cloud-based environment has some distinct advantages. For IT managers of small businesses, the cloud solution is one worth exploring. With the costs of IT equipment, the complexity of IT infrastructure, and the associated maintenance and support as ongoing concerns, cloud solutions may remove some of the obstacles small businesses face in today’s economy.
The Benefits of the Cloud
Migrating to a Windows cloud environment should involve a seamless transition, given the number of professionals offering hosted, or managed services. A cloud-based environment comes with some benefits to any small business:
- The consolidation of data on hosted virtual servers maintained by a third party
- A cost-effective price compared to the high cost of IT staff and ongoing equipment maintenance
- Scalability for changing business needs and increases or decreases in staff
- High security, high availability, and minimal to no downtime
- Automated, secure, and accurate data backup and recovery
- Easy-to-manage software downloads and upgrades
- Mobility for remote workers in any business scenario
- Support for compatible development languages based on business needs
- Next-generation preparedness
Small businesses focus on their goals and objectives, while experienced, professional third-party companies remotely manage the complexities of business IT, including software, hardware, networks, and servers.
The Companies That Should Migrate
Although most large companies have their IT staff, infrastructure, and equipment because they have the capital, small- and medium-sized businesses can offset costs by investing in managed cloud solutions. As technology advances and IT gets more complicated, Windows cloud options are presenting some attractive alternatives to various types of small business managers:
- Startups that need to save costs and don’t need to invest in big IT
- Businesses that transition on a regular basis and add and reduce staff
- Expanding businesses that are no longer manageable on existing servers
- Mobile businesses that involve remote worldwide staff
Instead of IT expenses for managing servers, upgrading software, backing up data, providing security, and ensuring language compatibility among developers, Windows cloud solutions are making IT decisions easy for small business success and productivity.
Alternatives to the Cloud
Although cloud migration may not be right for every small business because cloud security and storage improvements are still in progress, some positive blended alternatives are available. A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud services, which translate to a blend of in-house company IT resources and hosted IT resources. Companies decide on the level of internal IT resource management that works for them, and they invest in a third-party host for the rest.
A staged migration in a test environment may be a partial cloud alternative until companies gain the confidence they need to migrate their entire IT infrastructure. Other non-cloud storage alternatives include synchronization devices that don’t store data at all and physical cloud storage servers that aren’t shared. Individuals create a cloud that only they can access, anytime, anywhere.
Knowing how and when to migrate to a Windows cloud environment is based on the business climate and the expertise companies have in their current technology and data security. Managed services companies are doing their best to provide customers with reliable, secure solutions. The rate of technological advancement presents innovative solutions but at the same time new levels of contention. Allowing the experts to manage this dilemma may prove the best solution for a small business.