Many experienced IT admins point to recent well-publicized outages, data losses, and hacking incidents that have cost companies big in lost productivity, lawsuits or penalties, and even leading to bankruptcy.
Outsourcing IT functions such as payroll, website hosting, email, or enterprise resource planning (ERP) has long been normal for businesses of all sizes. But outsourcing critical IT functions including database servers, file servers, document storage, or application development, gives many organizations pause.
Save on Setup and Management
If your IT staff is unfamiliar with a new OS or application, it can be a long, arduous process to implement a new function. Cloud providers have experienced administrators who do nothing but support specific applications. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of cloud-based ERP services–which are notoriously difficult to set up, both in getting hardware and software modules to work together and in configuring the software properly. Likewise, for third-party cloud providers with enough experienced staff, routine chores like monitoring, setting up new accounts, or applying patches are no problem.
Save on Infrastructure
Rather than buying new servers, operating systems, and applications to provide IT services in-house, you simply pay a monthly fee to a cloud provider. Considering that the cost of one server with OS and applications can be a couple of thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, this can be a huge benefit–especially if you want to test a new service before a full implementation.
Get Better Performance, More Features
Since cloud providers are providing services to many different companies, they buy large, high-performance systems that offer performance levels much higher than a small company can afford to run internally. They typically have the most capable versions of software and site licenses, so they’ll also have access to features at much lower costs than you’d be able to get in-house. Their experienced administrators are more likely to know how to optimize performance than your company is–especially if your IT department consists of one person who also doubles as the art department.
Enjoy More Fault Tolerance
Cloud providers can afford to have multiple data centers, multiple Internet connections at each data center, as well as replication of data between data centers. Plus, they can offer levels of data protection far beyond simple nightly backups, such as continuous data protection, generators to handle power outages, and high-end servers that can keep running even one component fails.