Technology changes fast. Software upgrades are made available each year, often requiring companies to repurchase and reinstall each license. Plus, with the ever-growing amount of applications and data you need to access and archive, computers and servers frequently need to be added or upgraded, resulting in rising technology costs each year.
- Are you tired of repurchasing and reinstalling new software every time an upgrade is required?
- Are you using old computers and running older versions of software to minimize your costs?
- Are you experiencing compatibility issues with applications, other computers, or outside companies?
- Are you increasing your risk by allowing people to share logins and passwords because you are short on licenses?
- Are you 100% confident that your operating system and every device connected to your network is secured?
The problems above can be resolved with two distinct services: Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) and Cloud Computing. They offer businesses flexibility, reliability, security, accessibility, and scalability.
Hardware-as-a-Service is similar to leasing or licensing. The hardware (e.g., computers, servers and networking devices) is installed in your office but belongs to the managed service provider. You pay a flat monthly fee, allowing you to set a reliable budget that can include your hardware, software, maintenance, and installation.
Let’s face it: hardware is a depreciating asset. Therefore, investing in HaaS provides certain advantages, such as:
- Minimal upfront costs;
- When hardware reaches the end of its useful life, it is refreshed by the managed service provider at no cost to you; and
- Should the hardware fail or become outdated, it is the managed service provider’s responsibility to repair or replace it.
Cloud Computing is another service that is tailored to the specific needs of your business and can be budgeted as a fixed monthly expense, rather than incurring a large upfront cost. Below are some of the many advantages to cloud computing solutions:
- 24/7/365 anywhere, anytime access
- Increased employee productivity
- Immediate remote IT support
- Highly secure and reliable
- Data centralization
- Automated data backup and archiving
- Hosted email, providing uninterrupted access
- Efficiently roll-out new software, with minimal interruption to your staff
- Expandable file storage and sharing
- Unlimited capacity
- Minimal space needed to house equipment. Ditch that server room and use it for something more profitable.
- Significantly lower IT expenditures annually
Many companies offer cloud computing services, so it’s important to understand what you need and what you are getting before you sign a contract. Here are some key questions to ask your provider before committing:
- Can I pay for only the resources that I need, adding space when necessary?
Your contract should provide some flexibility, allowing you to add – and even reduce – your commitment as your needs change.
- How do I know my data backups are working?
Don’t wait until you need the backups to discover a failed implementation. Someone should periodically test the backups to ensure everything is working.
- Can you describe your redundant server architecture?
A redundant server environment must protect your data. Then, if the server housing your data were to fail or become compromised, the redundant server can be brought online immediately, minimizing and even eliminating your downtime. The best environments will include multiple power sources, multiple generators, and redundant internet providers.
- Do I need any on-site equipment?
There are different options available, ranging from maintaining a local server in your office to operating completely remotely. Understand the pros and cons before you choose.
As a final note, to help your company not only keep up with technology but also leverage it most advantageously, assess the IT resources you have in place. Whether you have an entire technology department, a single professional managing your needs, or outsource everything, it is critical that you have the right professionals watching over you. Their ability to maintain your network, secure your infrastructure and troubleshoot daily needs can mean all the difference in the world.