Choosing the right cloud environment for SMEs

The way businesses operate continue to change.  The constant implementation of the newest breakthrough technologies requires companies to adapt, if they wish to advance.  One of these technological breakthroughs that has come to surface in recent years is cloud computing.

WHAT IS THE CLOUD?

cloud

The cloud acts as a digital host for all your information storage needs.  The cloud connects to massive data centers and uses their computing infrastructure to create a seamless, secure and streamlined environment, for whatever you need. This method allows for a highly reliable and cost effective storage service, which is why 93% of small businesses have adopted cloud technology. However, the question then becomes, which cloud environment is best for businesses: public, private or hybrid?

PUBLIC

There are three main cloud infrastructures: public, private and hybrid.  Public cloud is the most common of the three.  If you have used Office 365 or Google’s productivity tools, then you have used the public cloud.  The main benefits of the public cloud are the low costs, scalability and reliability.  In a public cloud environment, you save money on maintenance and upgrade costs for your computers, since you do not use your own hardware.  Also, since the infrastructure is already in place, the ability to scale is endless.  While the public cloud is a secure environment, it is not as secure as the private cloud.

PRIVATE

The private cloud functions very similarly to the public cloud with one crucial difference: you own the entire server on which your information is stored.  The scalability and efficiency of the public cloud remain, however, you now have much more control and security over your server.  This added security does come at a higher price than the public cloud, however.  But, it greatly benefits companies that house sensitive information in regulated industries like healthcare, finance and insurance.

HYBRID

The hybrid cloud is a combination of the two aforementioned cloud environments, public and private.  This option, while using multiple cloud server, provides more flexibility in terms of security and information management.  You can opt to keep your more basic information on your public sever and your more sensitive information on the private servers.  Since, however, you are using multiple clouds, you will need to pay to monitor and secure them, which is quite costly compared to the other two.  However, many small businesses employ this to optimise their workload because of the scalability of public, the security of private, and the flexibility of the hybrid.

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