What’s More Affordable, the Cloud or the Status Quo?

What’s affordable these days? I mean, what does that mean to you, as an IT pro?

Is affordable replacing expensive servers every time you need more capacity to grow your business or store more data? Or is the more affordable answer putting all that power on the Cloud, relying on its resources and paying only for what you use?

If you’re considering more than just cost before switching to the Cloud, then here are some factors you may want to consider:

  • Choose a Web interface wisely. Ask your prospective Cloud provider if it offers a true web-interface, that is, one which allows access from anywhere, rapid enrollment, elimination of client software, platform independence (PC/Mac/Linux), and mobile device access?
  • Study deployment options. Do you get a choice of how to deploy? Can your Cloud vendor offer both a SaaS offering and/or the option to deploy the Cloud ERP on-premise, or also host the solution on a virtual or dedicated server of the user’s choice?
  • Can you retain your flexibility? If you’re using SaaS now, can you switch to on-premise, as your company’s needs change? This level of versatility — even switching back from on-premise to SaaS — is very important for some companies, especially small and mid-sized firms.
  • Getting out when it gets expensive. Are you locked into recurring fees for the life of your business, or can you purchase a license.  This is important if and when your Cloud platform increases pricing. What to do then? Are you locked-in to the solution or is it easy to retrieve your data and find a cheaper provider?
  • Can you customize? How easy is it to customize the solution, even by people in your organization that are non-programmers? It’s important, too, whether the areas you customize will be impacted by system upgrades. Find out, too, if it is easy or hard to interface with other on-premise or web-based systems that you may be using.
  • Room for growth. Ask these important questions: Does the software offer unlimited users — without additional costs and capacity constraints? Can the solution scale up a size or two quickly? Verify that you don’t need to purchase additional hardware as you add users.
  • Make sure you’re secure. Investigate how your cloud provider, well, provides data controls and security.  Do they meet the physical, transmission, storage, access, data, and application security needs of banks, health-care, and government organizations — which demand some of the strictest standards? What kind of security features do they offer? Hopefully the list includes access controls, data encryption, and server-based processing?

Still deciding whether to shift resources to the Cloud? Read more here about factors to consider before making the jump!