How To Conquer The New IT: Cloud, Network, And Managed Services

It’s difficult to keep up with all of the advancements and changes in IT, especially when business is busy and time is scarce. Questions come to mind that may seem silly to ask, but really have legitimate cause for curiosity and inquiry, especially when these are things which seem to be more and more prevalent in business.

What and where is the cloud? Can I see cloud computing? How important is a cloud environment network to my business? How do I make one? Do I need a cloud-based service? And what are managed services? Not only are these questions normal, they are good questions to be asking because being uninformed or misinformed and missing out on any of these three aspects of the new IT could be detrimental to you and your business. How important is a cloud environment network to my business?

The cloud is not an actual cloud. This obviously doesn’t need to be said, but it’s fun to clarify these things. The cloud platform is represented in physical form by a warehouse—or several warehouses—filled with servers and digital storage solutions. Basically, it is row upon row of racks of servers and storage towers.

They are all interconnected with wires and the space they are kept in is well ventilated and free of dust, so things keep working at peak efficiency. The idea of the cloud platform is that all of your data is stored remotely, physically located somewhere other than on the actual devices you are using as a security service.

Your devices are connected via the Internet to your data at this remote location, and the connection is encrypted and secure, so only you and the devices you have approved can connect to your data. Put simply, the device is in one location, the data is in another location for added security.

But, who cares? The cloud makes sense now, but why does it matter? Well, this whole concept of cloud solutions can have big implications and advantages for companies who use it. First, there is the potential for access to your information from anywhere; your home, other offices, coffee shops, you name it.

 

This can make it easy to track what is happening with your business and access what you need to, at any time, from anywhere. More importantly, the cloud places your storage of digital information off-site and this has several advantages. For one, if you operate with a lot of data and networked computers and have a cloud setup, you can make significant cost savings by maintaining your own storage solutions and potentially gain increased physical and digital security of your data by storing it in a secure cloud storage facility. Moreover, this data is usually backed up and on a reliable power grid with power generators in place in case of an outage,

Also, the hardware is under constant maintenance and often on an upgrade schedule, so the quality of data storage and access will remain strong. Cloud services are also not all or nothing. You can choose to have some data in the cloud and some on-site or simply use the cloud as a backup for your on-site data. The options are plentiful and the implications are an upgraded IT framework for you and your business.

The cloud sounds like a network. Can we just operate on the cloud? Technically, it is possible but you really don’t want to. An internal network is required in almost every business so that all of your computers and devices can communicate with each other. The benefits to an internally networked system of computers are you can send confidential internal communications, easily and securely connect employees to make data sharing safe, and reduce your equipment burden and cost (both initial and maintenance).

The confidential and secure internal communications are core facets of an internal network. The data transfer only takes place within your walls and on authorized devices. This also allows for monitoring of company computers to ensure worker productivity and safety. Along with the intrinsic value of a good network, you can also save on equipment by having dedicated printing areas, instead of a printer for every workstation and digital storage rooms on-site so you don’t have to worry about computer crashes resulting in major data losses.

Does It Sound Like This is All Leading to Something? Well, It Is.

This sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? You can’t really operate your own cloud service and as for networking your own system yourself? Unlikely. This is where managed services come in. Managed services are embodied by companies that manage almost all of your IT and infrastructure needs including, you guessed it, cloud and networking. IT managed service providers specialize in hardware, security, networks, the cloud, and everything else in between. Think of managed IT services like having your own IT department for only a fraction of the cost of actually having your own IT department.

They will set up your system of servers and storage solutions based on your company’s needs and capacities, saving small business owners time and money. The “services” part means that the IT infrastructure provided is also maintained regularly and assistance is available 24/7 in case something does go wrong. Managed service providers can set up complicated internal networking systems easily and most can also offer secure cloud services for all of your (sensitive) data. Most of these companies also provide additional services and business solutions, including leasing and rental options for situations where making capital expenditures on IT doesn’t make sense for your business, such as seasonal businesses.

They can also provide data sanitization and destruction services, ensuring when you upgrade your hardware you don’t have to worry about any of your sensitive or confidential data remaining imprinted on obsolete equipment. Finally, they will even help you sell off your old equipment to manage finances and reduce the cost of any upgrades you may make at the same time.

The new IT of cloud, networks, and managed services can be a little bit daunting at first. But now you have a better grasp on the concepts and applications, so you can get started moving your business forward and capitalizing on some amazing IT advancements which will not only help you save money but also help you make money.

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