We are often asked by our clients and prospective clients if and why they should consider hosting IT services in the cloud as opposed to running them onsite in a traditional manner.

There are many good reasons to host of course but the discussion should also focus around whether it is right to host services – it may well make sense to some companies but not be the right fit for others depending on their line of business. For example a manufacturing business will want to seriously consider whether it makes sense to move their manufacturing planning (MRP) systems offsite because of the impact of losing contact with them.

However we want to focus here on the reasons you may wish to consider hosting services in the cloud.

Security

Even a modest cloud or hosting provider will have security measures in place in their data centre which are well beyond the reach of most SME businesses. These range from physical security such as patrolled sites, retina scanning access and a building designed specifically to restrict entry through to technical measures such as the latest firewall and remote access technologies. If security of your data is a concern, would you rather it be in a datacentre on or on a server sitting in your offices?

Continuity

Hosting providers benefit from a range of measures in their datacentres to promote continuity of operations. They can do this as the cost is spread across many clients and in fact must do so as the consequences to them of any interruption to business is so high. Measures in place range from backup power, backup internet to multiple backup servers and storage and for software delivered as a service (SaaS), usually a backup datacentre.

Moving to an Opex cost model

Moving to a hosted service removes costly upfront capital costs associated with purchasing new equipment and software. The can remove barriers to upgrading and bringing on new IT systems whilst making budget planning simpler.

Scalability

Hosted services can be scaled as your business grows or reduces in size – meaning that you are only paying for the capacity you require. In particular this makes planning for growth simpler and relieves pressure on cash flow.

Per user pricing

Some hosted services, particularly software delivered as a service, have simple to understand ‘per user per month’ pricing models. This makes business planning simple as you can build a clear IT cost per person in your business.

If you would like to discuss in more detail how hosting can work for your business please contact our sales team on 0845 507 0846