Increase productivity while you save time and money
Rhode Island’s Cloud Services Experts
One of the first things companies ask about the cloud and cloud services is: “what is the cloud?”
There are basically three types of cloud solutions: private, semi-private and public.
Private clouds are Interesting. A good example would be a small hosting provider who has set up a server and hosts your website on it. This isn’t a data center, it’s basically a server connected to the Internet at some location.
You could have an internal private cloud, or you could have a private cloud as an allocation within a public cloud, but your private cloud has been separated in some way from all the other accounts and you are isolated from everyone else.
An example of a Semi-private cloud is a co-located server. Which means you purchase a server but place it within a data center because they have backup power generators, a security and fire prevention plan in place and redundant Internet connections. Which means, only an act of God at the data center location itself could prevent you from accessing your data and tools.
Public cloud examples include Microsoft 365, Amazon AWS and Google Workspace. These solutions all have their own data centers. Large data centers which host millions of users.
In a way, it’s correct to think that the “Cloud” is really just a server connected to and accessible over the internet. No matter where that server is located or whose location it resides at.
Why The Cloud? What Does It Do For You?
So, what is the big idea behind the Cloud and why is it useful and important?
Well, the Cloud gives you several benefits above and beyond what you can achieve with your own server at your location.
A Predictable Computing Environment
First, as we’ve already discussed when we covered semi-private clouds and co-location above, it is difficult and expensive to create a server environment where your server is in a perfectly cooled room, with 3 different Internet connections so you can always access your data.
Then, add in backup and failover power generators to ensure your server stays on when the power goes out. Then, add in the fire prevention layer and special firefighting equipment that doesn’t use a material that would destroy your data.
It’s not impossible to create this environment at your office, but why would you want to? It’s expensive!
It’s much easier and more cost effective to have your data in an alternate location that is built to deliver as close to 100% uptime as humanly possible.
Leverage State-of-the-Art Applications
Second, the Cloud enables software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. These applications may be off-the-shelf solutions, but they are built for a specific purpose. And usually, they are the best option for that purpose.
For example, Quickbooks Online. You can house all of your financial records and data on Quickbooks servers. This not only gives you access to that data from virtually everywhere on any device, it also adds a level of protection to your data because their data centers have all of the layers of protection we just discussed.
Your other option, besides buying an off-the-shelf or SaaS solution is to build your own software. This may sound intriguing given that you could customize the software to meet your needs specifically.
The problem is. It’s expensive to develop that software, but it’s even more expensive to maintain it.
Ideas for have-to-have features require updates. Each update requires further development. And that can get expensive.
Not to mention the quality and security of the development code. Are there security concerns within the software? To address them, those bugs will have to be trapped and that requires more development.
Developing your own software, unless you are thoroughly prepared for it, is a circular, iterative process that can require a major investment of time, money and other vital business resources.
The Cloud Isn’t A Digital Utopia
With all the amazing things the Cloud can do for us, it’s important to remember it is still a server somewhere that is connected to the Internet.
That makes it vulnerable to attack. And sometimes, more of a target for hackers.
And, because you can actually hack a laptop with thermal imaging devices, the only way to make a computer safe is to surround it with a lead lined room and cut it off from any other device.
But we can’t work like that. We need to be connected to a network and connected to the Internet to be productive.
And even though the Cloud services and SaaS tools you purchase try their best to keep your data safe, protected and backed up, it’s still open to attacks.
For example, Microsoft 365 has been breached 4 times and has had thousands of clients’ data deleted or stolen each time.
So, the truth is: They want to protect you and keep your data safe. But they can’t protect you and keep your data safe. Only you can ensure that happens by hiring us to help you.
We partner with our clients to ensure the tools they are using and are thinking of using are safe. We research the tools to know what the risk exposure is and if the tool makers have a remediation plan in place in the event of a breach.
Then we let our clients know their risk exposure and how to work with, or around it. The goal is to ensure you are making an informed decision about your tools and data security. Which is important because the Cloud can give you a false sense of security. After all, it’s still just a server connected to the Internet – which makes it vulnerable to attack.
The Right Rhode Island Cloud Services Partner
With all of this understanding about what the Cloud is and what it does, you can see why it’s important to work with a professional Managed Services Company like us to ensure your company and data are safe and protected.
Like I said, the Cloud can give you a false sense of security which is dangerous. In reality, Cloud applications are just as vulnerable as the server in your office.
That’s why you need an IT partner who can perform the role of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) if need be. Someone who can assist you in identifying the right tools and ensuring your data is backed up wherever it lives.
When you are ready to work with a company who partners with you and works with you to come up with the best solutions to your technology challenges, call us at 401-250-8871.
We’ll have a quick chat and schedule a technology audit to understand your needs and explain your options so you can choose the best data security posture and Cloud Services solution for you.