What Are the Real Costs of the Cloud?

The “Cloud”.

The obscure idea that some of you likely understand more than others. Lucky for you, PK Tech spends a lot of its time in the Cloud (not the clouds…don’t worry, we’re working hard). Simply put, Cloud = someone else’s online resources that you rent.

Maybe your small business is becoming more than just you working out of your basement. You’re growing, acquiring employees, equipment and most importantly: you’re generating data. And lots of it. It’s time to start thinking about how you will store that data safely, securely and in the most cost effective manner. You likely need to start understanding and incorporating Cloud storage, backup and management.

With the incorporation of any new system, one of the first questions is usually: “How to I implement Cloud Solutions in a cost-effective manner?”. It’s a fair question and one we will try to answer clearly and succinctly in this post.

First of all, “Cloud Solutions” can entail:

  • Email, such as Office 365 or G Suite
  • Data storage, such as OneDrive, G Drive, or Dropbox
  • CRM or any web-based applications, such as Saleforce or Quickbooks Online
  • Backup & disaster recovery, such as online backup or cloud to cloud backup
  • Virtual servers in someone else’s data center, such as Azure or AWS
  • … and many more. Cloud is a huge catchall term for online resources you rent

Question is, how do you implement Cloud Solutions in a cost-effective manner?

  1. Work with a cloud expert to help weigh the pros and cons when rolling out your own solution (i.e., owning a server) is an option. There are cases for both, make an informed decision. 
  2. You’re likely already using Cloud Solutions. Office 365 and G Suite are great examples. Chances are, you’re not using them to the full capacity and things like online file storage and collaboration are already included in the fees you pay. Work with an expert in cloud and your industry to explore if you’re underutilizing the solutions you already pay for.
  3. Example: pros and cons list of owning your own server that holds Quickbooks data vs paying a Cloud provider to host it:
    1. Pros of owning your server
      1. No “forever” monthly payment for rights or access to Quickbooks data
      2. Dedicated server just for you, likely faster than most Cloud Solutions
      3. Over 5 years of ownership, you likely saved a third or more on Cloud fees (roughly.. This is math that needs to be figured out upfront)
      4. If your internet is down, you can still access Quickbooks
    2. Cons of owning your server
      1. Large upfront expense of purchasing a server & IT labor for setting it up
      2. Ongoing server maintenance, security tools, and backup are additional expenses from the IT company
      3. You need a physical safe space for the server
      4. When your power is down, so is your server
      5. Remote access to Quickbooks data (out of the office) may require more software and IT labor costs to setup
      6. After 3-5 years, you need to buy another one and pay IT people again to set it up / migrate data

Whether incorporating the Cloud in your business is the right decision or not, PK Tech is here to walk alongside you, offering industry expert information on the pros and cons based on your business makeup.

If you’re interested in getting a quote for PK Tech services, we’re here to help answer any questions and provide more information. To contact PK Tech, click here.

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