Most of us have a pretty good general idea of what’s out there by now, even though things continue to change. So, today, as we approach 2013, what are the major pros and cons of flying to the cloud?
• More robust facilities: A good cloud vendor or co-location facility should be able to show that it has better physical security, power backup, redundant Internet connectivity, and other things that are too expensive for you to implement.
• Better applications: Some of the best applications now come only in cloud versions.
• Appropriate skills and services: It sometimes turns out that you can buy expertise in the cloud rather than having to have it on your staff.
• Reduction in costs: This can be significant. A good comparison to start with is the total cost of ownership of your Exchange server versus Office 365.
• Better Internet access: Now that an increasing amount of your traffic is external, you may be better off putting your servers in a more Internet-accessible location.
• Easier management: 24/7/365 monitoring and management are often offered with hosting, and other tools can help you track costs and performance better.
• Quicker setup: For activities such as development, the fast provisioning of new servers offered by cloud vendors may help you provide new facilities quicker to users.
• Inferior customer service: The quality of customer service can vary. It can be frustrating to be faced with delays restoring a service because your vendor is slow or inattentive.
• Security: Much has been made of security risks in the cloud. Again, this depends on the situation. And, remember, the honest comparison is with what you’ve got now.
• No reduction in cost: Even though the costs of cloud services should be less, this doesn’t always mean their prices are.
• Integration issues: Consider all the possible alternatives for a particular situation, such as moving all the integrated apps, and their integration, simultaneously.
• Migration costs: With Office 365, for example, it’s not just those low monthly fees; it’s also the price of getting there.
• Replacement issues: Is your hardware at the end of its replacement cycle? Does your software need a costly new upgrade? Or can you afford to wait?
The Best Approach
We bet you guessed this one: Have a strategic roadmap and plan. And, as always, CGNET offers a range of cloud, migration and consulting services that can help.