While cloud adoption among SMBs continues to rise, there are still plenty of SMB customers I speak with who are reluctant to take advantage of what the cloud has to offer. Below are four examples of how cloud adoption can help SMBs excel:
Access to enterprise class features
The cloud gives SMBs access to enterprise class features that many couldn’t normally take advantage of. Geo-location and load balancing are both great examples. If an SMB puts its website up on Microsoft Azure, a click of a button can put 3 copies locally and also put 3 copies in 3 different geographical locations automatically.
This way, if something happened at one of the locations, all of the data is already at another data centre ready to spin up. Doing this without utilising the cloud would be extremely costly and quite unrealistic for the budgets of most SMB organisations.
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)
DRaaS is a cost effective insurance policy for SMBs. Instead of having to buy and maintain separate servers, SAN, storage, network, firewall, rack space, etc. I can take my backups and load them up to the cloud (Azure, vCloud Air, Cirrity, etc). This gives me a way to have infrastructure fail over in the event of a disaster.
SMBs that go this route can pay less per month to have this available than it would be buy on-prem equipment. Buying the equipment may mean that you aren’t using all of it as well.
Desktops in the cloud
Another way SMBs can use the cloud is to host desktops. Doing this means you don’t have to buy or maintain desktops and allows for greater scalability. There are plenty of companies where users change a lot so internal IT is tasked with adding or removing users on a fairly regular basis. This means they have desktops that they need to build out manually.
By hosting your desktops in the cloud, you can automatically spin up or down when needed. This not only provides cost savings, but will also save your IT department a significant amount of time.
If you are running, say, Microsoft Azure, you can set Azure to utilisation between 25-75% of CPU. When utilisation gets above 75%, Azure is going to automatically turn up more servers and load balance them. If utilisation dips below 25%, it will decommission servers. This allows for automatic scaling based on user activity. Doing this traditionally is much more expensive and in many cases not possible for SMBs.
The bottom line is SMBs should take a closer look at cloud options that can increase efficiencies and drive down costs. The corporate IT department is evolving. Has yours kept pace?
Can you think of further key ways for SMBs to take advantage of the cloud? Let us know in the comments.