As many businesses are looking to save costs, the concept of outsourcing accounting, human resources and IT has become very popular. Quite frequently, small businesses tend to have a love/hate relationship with their outsourced department. When everything is running smoothly, the CPA, Human Resource manager or CIO are their heroes. When servers are down, data is lost, employee is caught embezzling, or taxes are miscalculated resulting in large fines, outsourcing is the bane of a small business.
In technology, the added complexity of an ever-changing landscape makes it even more important for small businesses to choose IT services provider carefully. A recent incident that involved a small business and their IT service provider illustrates this clearly: The owner wanted to replace all four servers with virtual, or “Cloud” servers. After all, there was so much talk about the cloud, and it seemed like everyone was transitioning to it, so she decided to implement it. After talking to her IT guy, they started their promised journey to the cloud. It was not long before employees started complaining about slow network, lost files, duplicate files, etc. No one knew what was going on, and even worse, they had not been warned!
Sorry to disappoint many of you reading, but cloud computing is not for everyone! It is a glamorous place to be, but just like all things glamorous, it is not to everyone’s taste. But how can you tell? Chances are, you can’t, unless you hire a qualified network engineer to do an audit. Does your business process large files? Does it have fast internet access? And most importantly, how much will the savings amount to, if at all? And many more questions need to be asked before a decision can be made about migrating to the cloud. While it makes complete sense for one type of business, it may prove to be a complete disaster for another. Are there other choices? These are questions that all small business must answer before jumping on the cloud band-wagon.
A thorough network audit along with evaluating factors such as file size, business needs, and costs can be performed by any IT service provider worth their salt. Just like planning any major IT project, when done thoroughly and in a well thought-out manner, the full realization of cloud computing can be a great experience. For further discussions on this topic, I recommend these pages: