Everyone seems to be moving to the cloud or talking about moving to the cloud. However, the concept of just what the cloud is or how it holds your data can be elusive. The term cloud is simply a technical word that refers to internet-based computing. 

The cloud differs from traditional data storage, which has been stored on a computer hard drive or an on-premise server. With cloud computing, the information is kept on the internet. This makes it easier to access for employees outside the office or in other locations. It can also reduce the cost of IT services for organizations. 

Why the cloud?

As people have become more comfortable using mobile technologies it is clear they need a way to access their information on the go. This is one of the major reasons that cloud computing has become such a powerful data solution for organizations. Through the cloud, employees can access their files and documents even if they are away from the office. This improves productivity, making workers more efficient, and improving the company’s bottom line. 

Differences between cloud and on-premise systems

Data is central to most business activities. That means how it is stored and accessed is important. Many organizations have already transitioned their information to the cloud. However, this is not the right choice for everyone. There are some things you should know before you decide if you need a cloud or on-premise solution. These include:

Scalability. Cloud-based solutions are more flexible and can be scaled up or down with little hassle. The same cannot be said about on-premise solutions. 

Cost. Setting up an on-premise system has always been seen as more expensive than moving to the cloud. Factoring in on-going costs like maintenance or upgrades can also add to the cost of on-premise systems. One of the biggest advantages that cloud computing offers is that it is a low-cost, data solution. You only pay for what you use. 

Security. Your data is one of your most valuable assets. Keeping it safe needs to be a top priority. Cloud providers understand this need. This is why most cloud companies invest in high levels of security protection. Other organizations may not have the budget for such high levels of security. 

Reliability. While the cloud is considered fairly reliable, an on-premise solution is the only sure thing. The cloud does have times when it is not available. This can make it impossible to access your data if you need it at that specific moment. 

Control. For companies that want to have the most control over their data, an on-premise option is best. There is peace of mind that comes with knowing that your data is secure on your servers, behind your firewall. Depending on your industry, regulations may define how you can use and transfer data. In these scenarios, keeping the information stored on-premise helps you stay in compliance with those policies. 

Tips on moving to the cloud

Moving your data to the cloud may be the best and most cost-effective data solution for your organization. To ensure you make the transition smoothly, here are some tips for successfully moving to the cloud:

  1. Understand what resources you will need. In the world of cloud computing, you only pay for what you use. This is why it has a reputation as a cost-saving measure for organizations. However, before you move your data over, be clear on what resources you need to achieve your business goals. 
  1. Know the security policies of your provider. Keeping your information safe and secure is still the biggest priority in your organization. Even if your data is kept in the cloud, your company is still primarily responsible for it. You should be aware of the security measures in place prior to transitioning to a cloud provider.  
  1. Hire a professional. Your data is one of the most important assets your company owns. To ensure you find the right cloud solution for you and your data, hire a professional. Experts in data solutions will have the knowledge to advise you on the cloud option that fits your needs. 
  1. Make a plan. Once you have decided on the best cloud resources for your business, you will need a transition plan. This should include when, where and how the data will be moved over. It also needs to define a timeline for the switch. 
  1. Prepare your employees. Let your employees know about the transition. Provide them with the relevant details from your transition plan. Give them training in the cloud components that they will be expected to know and use regularly.

Conclusion

Cloud computing has become one of the most popular solutions for data problems. One of the biggest attractions to the cloud has been its scalability. Having the ability to scale up or down quickly and efficiently is seen as a boon by organizations. The cloud is also a cost-saver for companies that cannot afford for on-premise solutions. However, it is not the right data solution for every organization. 

At NBS, we know the cloud. Why not talk to us about whether a cloud solution is the best way to tackle your data problem?

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