Is Moving to the Cloud the Right Decision for Your North Chicago Business?

cloud computing concept

With more and more companies transferring their business on to the cloud - is it time for you to join in?

Cloud computing means storing and accessing all your files and information online and using cloud based apps and programs instead of having them on your hard drive. Many of us already use some form of this personally – ITunes, Spotify, Google Drive and Microsoft’s Onedrive are the most common at home. Some tech like the Chromebook is completely cloudcentric.

Using the cloud for your business is entirely different and has three main options. PaaS (Platform as a Service) allows a business to develop and run custom apps online without having to build or maintain the infrastructure. SaaS (Software as a Service) is a system where businesses subscribe to apps they use online. There are many different companies offering this facility, research is definitely recommended! The third option is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Organizations like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, rent out their infrastructures to other companies and make a profit by offering a safe and stable base.

There are clear benefits to having a cloud based business. None of your data will be lost if your system crashes. Let’s face it – we all forget to update our backups from time to time and things can get lost. Hardware costs can be cut – no more need for buying larger hard drives or memory – no more huge filing cabinets in the office! The service can grow with your business easily, as tailor made services are available. Prices vary dependent on your needs, but low cost packages are available.

All apps and files are readily available to staff and customers 24/7 from wherever they are. Staff could work from home if they need to. Some companies offer consolidated server systems that lower your energy costs and your carbon footprint.

However, the more popular cloud computing becomes, the more likely it is that service providers will find ways of increasing your bill – higher prices for more bandwidth or tailoring your package for growth.

The City of Chicago has announced that its Local Amusement Tax will now include the Nonpossessory Computer Lease Tax – basically, a way to tax cloud computing in all three business forms. It’s currently rated at 9%, and companies have been made accountable for everything since September 1st. This charge will also fall on businesses using the IaaS, meaning costs could be passed on to you through higher cloud provider rates and the new tax. Before you decide to switch to a cloud based option, find out how much this ruling will cost you.

Cloud servers have been known to crash. If you’re on the IaaS, you will be affected if the provider is experiencing difficulties. Internet connections can be slow or affected by weather.
Security has to be an important factor, all of your business's confidential and sensitive data will be on the internet – something more than your local antivirus is going to be needed – and that could be costly. There are some cloud based antiviruses available that are worth investigating.

If you’d like more information about switching to cloud services, Stratosphere Networks can help. Call us today at (877)599-3999 or fill out our contact form.