Overview: What the cloud actually is and if you, as a business owner or executive, should move your company’s network to it. There are things most computer IT consultants either do not know or will not tell you about moving your company’s network to the cloud. This will fill in those gaps and better enable you to decide if it is right for your company.

As a small to midsize business owner or executive in the current pandemic-induced landscape, you are always on the lookout for ways to increase productivity, streamline workflows, and keep costs under control. But restrictive, unreliable or outdated technology could be holding you back more than you know. Cloud computing, though not free, is still an amazing service that can potentially provide cost-saving solutions that will save you time and increase profitability by allowing access to your company’s data from anywhere and across any device, automating backups, and eliminating unnecessary IT costs. I know the cloud may seem like a scary and abstract concept for those that are unfamiliar, but it is an incredibly valuable tool. The cloud admittedly is not a good fit for every business; clarification of its benefits and drawbacks are necessary when making the decision to migrate or not.


So, Let’s Dig In…. What Is The Cloud?

For those business owners that take charge in the boardroom but lack in familiarity when it comes to technology efficiency and data-backup resources, the cloud can seem like an abstract and, in many ways, daunting concept. To help eradicate some of those feelings we should first define what the cloud is. The cloud, or cloud computing, is defined by Wikipedia as, “the use and access of multiple server-based computational resources via a digital network (WAN, Internet connection using the World Wide Web, etc.).” At least that’s the technical, or “geek-speak”, definition of the cloud. After reading it, I’m almost positive it still seems like some ethereal, invisible, and magical computer concept that only computer wizards truly grasp. Trust me, cloud-enlightenment is –in actuality– not that bumpy of a ride because the definition can be even further simplified.

The cloud could quite simply be described as storing your company data or services on a computer that is elsewhere. It is quite literally someone else’s computer, somewhere away from where your computer network is physically, and; on this computer, you are essentially renting space to store your data. It is then accessed by you via the internet. (Think Netflix, as they are using cloud services for delivering movies and shows.) You may understandably be asking yourself, “So, what is the benefit of paying for data storage elsewhere when it can be stored on the computers physically at my business?” Well, I can tell you there are many benefits to the cloud and – since there are many – I have chosen to highlight only a few.


Benefits Of Utilizing The Cloud

As you make your way through the next couple of sections, always keep in mind there is no “perfect” solution. All options – be it an in-house, on-premise server or a cloud solution – have upsides and downsides that need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Also keep in mind the best option for you may be a hybrid solution where some of your applications and functionality are in the cloud and some are still hosted and maintained from an in-house server. As that topic falls under the case-by-case basis scenario, for now we’ll focus on the top three benefits of the cloud.

  • Lowered IT Costs: This is probably the single most compelling reason why companies choose to move their network (all or in part) to the cloud. Not only do you save money on software licenses, but on hardware (servers and workstations) as well as on IT support and upgrades. In fact, we save our clients an average of 20% to 50% when we move some or part of their network functionality to the cloud. So, if you hate constantly writing cash-flow-draining checks for IT upgrades, you’ll really want to investigate cloud computing.
  • Ability To Access Your Desktop And/Or Applications From Anywhere And Any Device: If you travel a lot, have remote workers or prefer to use an iPad while traveling and a laptop at your house, cloud computing will give you the ability to work from any of these devices.
  • Disaster Recovery And Backup Are Automated: The server in your office is extremely vulnerable to several threats, including viruses, human error, hardware failure, software corruption and, of course, physical damage due to a fire, flood or other natural disaster. If your server were in the cloud and (God forbid) your office was reduced to a pile of rubble, you could purchase a new laptop and be back up and running within the same day. This would NOT be the case if you had a traditional network and were using tape drives, CDs, USB drives or other physical storage devices to back up your system.


But, Is There A Downside?

Even with its many benefits, the cloud is not perfect. There are some drawbacks that you, as the informed business owner or executive you are, need to know before making the decision to move all or part of your company’s computer network to the cloud.

  • The Internet Going Down: While you can mitigate this risk by using a commercial grade Internet connection and maintaining a second backup connection, there is a chance you’ll lose Internet connectivity, making it impossible to work. We can also help by installing a redundant Internet link that runs on 4G LTE cellular signal.
  • Data Security: Many people don’t feel comfortable having their data in some off-site location. This is a valid concern, and before you choose any cloud provider, you need to find out more information about where they are storing your data, how it’s encrypted, who has access and how you can get it back.
  • Compliance Issues: There are several laws and regulations, such as Gramm-Leach-Bliley, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, that require companies to control and protect their data and certify that they have knowledge and control over who can access the data, who sees it and how and where it is stored. In a public cloud environment, this can be a problem. Many cloud providers won’t tell you specifically where your data is stored.


Cloud Highlight: Office 365 And Google Apps

You may be wondering, “Should I Get Office 365 For My Business?” Office 365 and Google Apps are perfect examples of the cloud computing trend; for an inexpensive monthly fee, you can get full access and use of Office applications that used to cost a few hundred dollars to purchase. And, since these apps are being powered by the cloud provider, you don’t need an expensive desktop with lots of power to use them – just a simple Internet connection will do on a laptop, desktop or tablet. Simply migrating to Office 365 could be a cloud-based solution game-changer for your company!


Migration Gotchas! What You Need to Know About Transitioning to A Cloud-Based Network

 Like with any migration, proper planning needs to be done and kinks will need to be ironed out before you can consider the transition complete. The following are the three main things you need to consider (and plan for!) BEFORE taking this technological plunge.

  • Downtime: Some organizations cannot afford ANY downtime, while others can do without their network for a day or two. Make sure you communicate YOUR specific needs regarding downtime and make sure your IT provider has a solid plan to prevent extended downtime.
  • Painfully Slow Performance: Ask your IT consultant if there’s any way you can run your network in a test environment before making the full migration. Imagine how frustrated you would be if you migrate your network and discover everything is running so slow you can barely work! Again, every environment is slightly different, so it’s best to test before you transition.
  • 3rd-Party Applications: If your organization has plug-ins to exchange for faxing, voice mail or integration into another application, make sure you test to see if it will still work in the new environment.


“If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.”

Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Salesforce


The cloud is not a tool that needs to be utilized by every business nor do businesses that do utilize it need to use it for their entire computer network. With a better understanding of what it is and what it can do, you can make an educated decision about implementing it. The pandemic has brought with it a myriad of obstacles and adaptations for modern-day businesses to overcome and carry out. Through these adaptations, commerce has been allowed to continue and, in many ways, thrive even in these unprecedented times. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak more businesses than ever before are utilizing the cloud. With the newfound knowledge you have just acquired, is your business one that should be utilizing it, too?

Still not 100% sure if moving to the cloud is right for your business? Give us a call at (210) 245-6900 or click here https://www.juerntech.com/5-critical-cloud-facts/ to schedule a free cloud readiness assessment today!