Most small- to mid-sized companies have traditionally invested in on-site servers to host their applications, email, and file sharing. This solution may consist of physical servers or utilize a physical host with multiple virtual machines. Managing these servers may require initial capital expenditure investments, as well as internal IT staff or engagement of a managed service provider. With this solution, you’ll also need to refresh your hardware, renew software licenses, perform upgrades, and extend warranties every five to seven years.

When a server dies, most businesses reach for the chequebook and order a replacement as quickly as possible. Few stop to consider whether buying a new server is the best option. Cloud servers perform the same functions as office servers but are often a much smarter and more cost-effective approach.

Here are 5 good reasons why it is better to shift to a cloud system.

1. No cash up front required to buy a server, applications, and operating system. Only a monthly fee where you “pay for what you use” –often this is per seat (per employee).

2. For companies that don’t want to have to manage everything on-site, it offers a hosting environment controlled by an experienced provider, relieving the headaches of cooling and housing servers and related staff. This is a very desirable advantage for many small- to mid-sized firms that would rather invest capital in other ways.

3. Software is kept up to date automatically. No need to invest in the purchase of updates on your software – the clod server does this for you, picking the most compatible updates depending on your business computing needs.

4. More predictable IT support costs, no surprise server outages etc. Cloud service is neither free nor cheap, but the savings over time can be equal to onsite servers, hence many businesses are opting out of managing hardware.

5. It also provides an easily scalable solution that can accommodate changing business needs. On the other hand, you’ll need a reliable Internet connection from your office—in the event that your Internet is down, you won’t have access to the server. Also, some may find it daunting to yield control to a third-party hosting provider, particularly when dealing with sensitive customer information.