November 23, 2015 by Tris Hussey

Is the Cloud Really All That and a Bag of Chips?

Is the Cloud Really All That and a Bag of Chips?

What cassette tapes, CDs, and the iPod have to teach us about moving to the cloud

Remember when CDs first began to replace cassette tapes?

I had a huge collection of cassette tapes back in the 80’s, all lovingly organized in a protective case, and all in constant danger of wearing out from overplaying. Those were my tunes, man! But when the 90’s hit, CDs began to overtake my beloved cassette tapes at the music store. For a while I boycotted CDs on principle, hoping both forms of media could learn to coexist, but CDs soon became the only way I could rock out to my favorite new tunes.

Of course, right about the time I had finally amassed a respectable CD collection, the iPod was released, and all bets were off. You now had the flexibility to buy as much or as little music as you wanted, depending on your budget, your preferences…whatever! And for those of us with kids/pets/clumsy friends, the iPod presented another advantage over CDs – no physical item to get lost or damaged – which also helped account for the lower cost. And of course, there was the fun of being able to customize playlists from your entire music collection.

If you think about it, the exact same revolution is happening right now in IT with cloud computing. The cloud is such a dramatic improvement over how we used to deal with data and servers, that once you’ve started using it for your storage, data, and infrastructure, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.

Here are three key benefits to expanding your current IT infrastructure to include cloud computing.

Benefit 1: Agility

You think the ability to download as many songs as you want gives you freedom and flexibility? How about increasing or decreasing your company’s storage or processing capacity whenever you need to? Or implementing new apps company-wide in no time flat, without needing to find and redeploy new hardware? Without physical installation or modifications to deal with, the cloud makes pivoting in a new direction and improving processes simple. Adding or removing servers only requires a point and click, not purchase, wait, deliver, and configure.

Benefit 2: Savings

And what about cost? If you’re still purchasing hardware, it’s like putting one of those CD towers within reach of your dog – you’re just asking for expensive trouble. There’s the upfront cost, of course, but then there are also the costs of maintaining it, updating it, replacing damaged parts, adding on to it… With the cloud, all those costs disappear – all you have to worry about is a set monthly fee for maintenance, and all those updates and changes are taken care of for you. If you find out you need a bigger server than you thought, you’re not out money, with infrastructure in the cloud you just dynamically make your virtual server more powerful.

Benefit 3: New Possibilities

When you’re not tied down by expensive hardware and software, the sky’s the limit when it comes to new business possibilities. Maybe you want to hire international talent or let part of your team work remotely; the cloud allows employees to access company apps from anywhere. People don’t need to be in the office to be productive; they just need to be online. Maybe you’d like to allow mobile employees to access systems on their smartphones and tablets. Through the cloud, the sky’s the limit for mobile and remote workers. The cloud allows you to determine your own business playlist, without having to take the limitations of physical hardware into consideration.

Even if your current IT set-up seems satisfactory, remember how you first felt about the flexibility, savings, and new possibilities that the iPod brought to the table. You’ll be just as excited about the changes that the cloud will make possible for your business. If you’d like to get started downloading the soundtrack to your newly agile business today, give Microserve a call. We’re always up for a jam session, and we’d love to help you toss those old cassettes and take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.

Cassette tapes by Groume.

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