What’s the Difference Between Data Integration and Data Engineering?

What’s the Difference Between Data Integration and Data Engineering?

Sometimes I write a blog because I’ve learned something new that I’m eager to share.  And sometimes I write a blog because we’ve just done something enlightening in one of my classes or client exercises.  But sometimes I write a blog because I don’t know anything about
How the Oil Industry Can Benefit from IoT Technology

How the Oil Industry Can Benefit from IoT Technology

Oil Industry Can Benefit from IoT In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil tragedy struck and took the nation’s attention for months. Two-hundred million gallons of oil spilled, 16,000 miles is the range it spread across the coastline from Florida to Texas, 8,000 animals were killed,
Matthew Cleaver

Dispelling the Myths of Cloud Solutions for the Small Business

Dispelling the Myths of Cloud Solutions

As a business leader, migrating to the cloud can be overwhelming due to the large number of cloud solutions available, and the services they offer. Finding the right fit is important, and we understand the concerns associated with security, cost, and complexity. After years of experience and offering cloud solutions for SMBs, we would like to clear the air, and dispel some of the myths of cloud solutions.

In the past decade, from Gartner to IDG to Forrester, there has been a significant investment in cloud solutions in all business segments; and the rate of investment is expected to increase substantially.

As a SMB that was “born in the cloud,” this only seems natural to us. It’s interesting to see that the metrics are being heavily driven by the enterprise space. What we aren’t seeing at the same rate, are small businesses leveraging the benefits of cloud solutions – benefits including the ability to reduce costs, become more agile, and scale more quickly.

Here are the five biggest myths (and concerns) that we hear from small businesses about adopting cloud solutions.

Security

Myth 1:  The Cloud Isn’t Secure

These days, data security should be one of the biggest concerns of any business owner. With so many regulations for compliance (e.g. SOX, HIPAA, PHI, ISO, etc.) at the forefront of every business owner’s mind, and the investment in obtaining data, it only makes sense.

Only a small number of small businesses have spent the time and resources required to setup a full IT department. Many small businesses simply don’t have the funds to hire someone in-house, who has the experience and knowledge needed to protect your data.

Organizations like Salesforce and Microsoft monitor their infrastructure around the clock; they have built teams entirely dedicated to the protection of their systems and their customers’ data.  They have built their organizations on their ability to defend their systems against hackers, and have the resources to make sure it gets done correctly.

Myth 2: Cloud Solutions Are Expensive

When looking into the potential costs of cloud solutions, the most important factor is to consider the total cost of being in the cloud vs. purchasing a server. This is like taking an Uber vs. buying a car. The Uber will cost you more per mile than simply putting gas into a car, but you don’t have the upfront costs of buying a car, or the cost of ongoing maintenance. Another thing to consider is that your car will stop running eventually (which means you would have to buy another one).

Additionally, leveraging cloud solutions is an operational expense.  If a server is purchased for the same solution, the expense is a capital expenditure that will need to be depreciated.

Net/net, the total cost of ownership of a cloud solution for a small business is significantly less than managing a solution in-house.

Myth 3: I’m Too Complex for a Cloud Solution

Many small businesses believe cloud solutions won’t be able to handle their specific business requirements. We understand that all businesses are unique. Take into consideration all the companies on the cloud – even within our mix of clients, we support organizations with just a few employees, and we support organizations with over 20,000 employees; and every size business in between.

Cloud solutions allow small businesses to gain enterprise-level technology within a scalable cost structure. With Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce, small businesses are on the same servers and infrastructure as Fortune 500 companies.

Myth 4: Your Provider Owns Your Data

We understand that if you have an in-house solution, you have full control over your data. Moving forward with a reputable cloud solution provider will ensure security and peace of mind that your data will continue to be yours. Just make sure to review the Master Services Agreement, and you should be in good hands.

Also, consider all the other benefits: redundant data back-ups, geographically dislocated data centers, 256-bit encryption, and so forth.

Myth 5: The Cloud Isn’t for Mission-Critical Applications

On the contrary, most cloud providers provide solutions that have near-perfect uptimes.  For example, Salesforce has a long-standing record of over 99.99% uptime, and Microsoft financially guarantees 99.9% uptime for Office 365 and Azure. As long as you are connected to the internet, you have access to your mission-critical applications in the cloud.

And frankly, in today’s world, if you lose access to the internet, you won’t have the ability to work, even if your current solutions are co-located next to your desk in your office.

Don’t let the Myths Hold You Back

If you are still unsure if cloud solutions are right for your small business, consider the benefits that your competitors are gaining:

  • Increases in productivity by over 30%
  • A decrease in IT-related spend by at least 11%
  • Guaranteed compliance for SOX, HIPAA, PHI, ISO, GxP, and many others

Don’t put off looking into the cloud much longer. Instead, consider all of the possibilities that exist with cloud solutions for your small business.

By Matthew Cleaver

Matthew Cleaver

Matthew Cleaver is the CEO and Managing Partner of The SMB Help Desk. Matthew has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies and countless small businesses, supporting business process changes for sales and marketing systems as well as ERP systems. As a small business owner, certified Salesforce developer, certified Sales Cloud Consultant, and cloud evangelist Matt understands the challenges that small business owners face, and how implementing cloud solutions can improve operational efficiency, customer service, and the overall performance of the business.

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