Should all of your systems be in the cloud?

The right IT infrastructure is one that meets the aspirations of the business growth plan, and provides responsive, reliable, scalable levels of performance no matter what is thrown at it. It allows staff to work securely from anywhere, without impinging on performance and productivity.

The most mature SMEs rely on their IT infrastructure to ensure their businesses are protected from disaster and have the agility to scale and change rapidly to meet evolving demands.

Lots of SMEs are already considering a cloud or hybrid environment and have already adopted cloud solutions like Microsoft 365 or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions for hosting non-Software as a Service business applications, such as Amazon Web Services or Azure.

Most (but not all) applications that run on physical servers are able to be migrated to the cloud. On-premises, hybrid and cloud environments all have their uses, but in general we would recommend the cloud. These are just some of the benefits:

  • Productivity from anywhere
  • Offsite, scalable data storage
  • Fewer IT maintenance costs
  • Pay-as-you-use, no up-front capital outlay
  • More reliable
  • Device and location independent
  • Built in security and disaster recovery capabilities
Key questions to ask your business
  • Are systems and infrastructure sufficiently resilient, scalable, and manageable to meet ongoing and near term needs?
  • Is there sufficient protection from business continuity and IT disaster risks?
  • Are your teams able to work seamlessly and productively from anywhere?

What does this often look like in average SMEs?

Many SMEs are working with the daily challenges caused by poor IT infrastructure – frequent system outages and slow unresponsive performance. They typically have IT support that’s reactive, fixing things that go wrong rather than proactively driving business growth.

Disaster recovery plans are often out of date. Back ups are usually in place, but not regularly tested, and no one has an idea how long it will take to recover from a disaster or loss.

What does good look like?

Proactive server and IT infrastructure planning plus widespread cloud or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) adoption allow businesses to operate with minimal performance issues and system downtime and give unlimited scalability.

Holistic business continuity planning in addition to disaster recovery means the company knows how its people and processes will respond to disaster, not just how systems will recover. This means faster recovery and reduced disruption. Key systems have frequent active back ups, and disaster recovery plans are tested and updated regularly.

Staff productivity is maximised through a consistent user-experience, whether they are in the office, working from home, sitting in a café or travelling by train.

Its important to note that M365 and other cloud applications need security, backup and diaster recovery capabilities to be correctly configured. They often need to be backed up to a separate medium, with backups verified and checked to ensure that the backups are completed successfully.

SME businesses looking to improve the quality of their infrastructure should talk to their Managed Service Provider or engage a specialist cloud migration company who offer a fixed fee approach for migrating existing server and infrastructure to cloud and Infrastructure as a Service platforms.

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"We often talk about disaster recovery in terms of catastrophic events. However it’s more likely that failure of ageing servers and network equipment will cause the unavailability of IT systems. In an SME with a £5M annual turnover, the impact of not having access to their customer data and applications could be £25K per day in lost revenue, not to mention the loss in confidence of their customers and suppliers."

Andrew Wragg , Clovertec
Business Development Specialist



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