Advice on Cloud hosting

Use it or lose it. Around 5 years ago, it was acceptable to not know what cloud technology was all about. But now, it’s time to get your head out of and into the cloud. We’ve got it and it’s time to use it! No excuses.

Just Ask. Once you start using a cloud platform, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Should you buy servers and house your information yourself, or should you put it in the cloud?

Don’t be afraid to mix it up. The alternative to all cloud or all purchase is to have a hybrid solution, with data that must be held in your control and less critical applications operating in the cloud. There are several considerations to think through.

Live within your means. If you’re considering purchasing servers, look at your budget and your needs and consider the cloud. The wonderful thing about the cloud is that it becomes an ongoing, recurring expense that is easily budgeted. Cloud hosting solutions like Amazon Web Services now allow you to only pay for what you need when you need it.

Cloud solutions help your bottom line by providing a stable monthly budget — and, if the solution is planned well, overages are minimal. Maintenance and updates are already included. When you go to the cloud, consider if you have a plan for times when you can’t access the internet or if the cloud solution gets hacked. Also know how frequently to back up your cloud solution?

No excuses, just do it. Cloud hosting is a great opportunity for new businesses and new ideas, and it’s affordable. There’s a low cost of entry, and the cloud lets you scale up quickly as you grow. There’s no waiting for equipment — just work with a knowledgeable technical architecture consultant to understand your business and its technical needs, get you a price and get set up. This kind of scalable pricing makes a big difference when you want to try a new idea. You’ll incur far less risk with cheap cloud hosting that’s easy to purchase and easy to leave.

Heavily regulated industries like health care, insurance and banking often have rigorous data retention and auditing requirements. Make sure you know who’s accessing your data. Can your IT department keep up with a fire hose of notifications? Low-cost storage and automated issue management help your IT team and lawyers sleep at night.

Changing or upgrading cloud platforms is completely doable. Don’t be held captive by the thought of changing your hosting provider. There are many opportunities out there. Keep your eyes open and look for opportunities to improve your expenses and your speed. The cloud can help you use current technology and delegate the details to an expert.

Don’t just follow the crowd and cheaper is not always better, even though cloud hosting is becoming a commodity product. Data backups are not disaster recovery — true disaster recovery allows your entire infrastructure to be restored and available in a matter of minutes. The cloud makes this possible and easy.