What Are the Benefits of a Local Cloud Provider?
By now, cloud computing has become a standard part of doing business. Moving to the cloud has many advantages, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. But when you’re considering the options, you probably have several questions. You might be a little wary about making that move, and you want to find the provider that is right for you and can meet your needs.
To find “the one,” you need to know what you need from a provider, what to look out for, and what questions to ask. You also want to decide whether to use a smaller, local cloud provider or a big player. Understanding the differences between them is critical to making the right decision for your company.
Why Small Businesses Love Cloud Service Providers
Moving your business’ technology infrastructure to the cloud provides you with anytime/anywhere access from a variety of devices and lets you enjoy that access for less than you would pay for in-house hosting. In other words, cloud options are so appealing to small businesses because they keep you competitive while saving you money. Among the ways you can save money are:
Staff costs. When you migrate to the cloud, you no longer need your own in-house specialists to manage file servers and email, run backups, or update software. All of those tasks are taken care of by the cloud service provider.
- Hardware space. When your business data moves to the cloud, you won’t have to run network software updates or worry about having enough space on your hardware.
- Applications. Instead of using several different applications, you’ll be able to consolidate with a multi-application service. Most vendors offer a suite of cloud applications that cover all your needs (CRM, calendar, email, file sharing, etc.) which you can access for a monthly fee.
Of course, the biggest savings is time, since you no longer have to be concerned with regular updates to applications and making sure that the system always has access to your programs’ latest features. When you turn that over to a cloud service provider, you can focus all that time and attention on growing your business.
Using a Local Cloud Provider vs. Big Players
By 2022, according to Gartner, as many as 60% of organizations will rely on an external cloud service provider. And, as cloud computing becomes more prevalent, there are more managed service providers to choose from. With so many options, it’s important to know what each provider brings to the table and how that will work with your operations.
When choosing a cloud provider, one significant consideration is size. It can quickly become overwhelming to sift through the many options as more vendors seem to be popping up daily. Large providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud might seem like a safe bet because of their name recognition. But there’s more to consider when choosing who you’ll trust with your data.
Using a smaller, local cloud service provider can have more advantages than you might realize. Consider the following four advantages of using a local cloud services provider instead of a large provider.
1. Cost: As already mentioned, migrating to the cloud can save you money in many ways. Before you make your move, you want to make sure that the service provider has the programs you need, so you don’t have to resort to custom-developed software. Also, you will need to find out how much data can be transferred each month and what it will cost if you exceed that amount.
Make sure you compare pricing for all services; you might be surprised to learn how much money you can save when you “shop locally.” For example, Aventis Systems’ cloud is 25% less expensive than the major players and allows for unlimited data pull-outs at no extra charge.
2. Security: It’s no secret that security is top of mind for all business owners, and when you trust your data with a third-party provider, you need to know that they have the most sophisticated and up-to-date security available. Security is such a concern that, according to one report, as many as 86% of organizations are reluctant to switch to the cloud out of fear of security problems, including data breaches. Make sure you’re comfortable with your cloud provider’s track record and that you understand exactly what measures they take to ensure your data’s safety.
While the large providers take many steps to ensure the safety of data, the fact that they store such a large volume of data makes them a target for hackers and thieves. Even though the Aventis Systems’ Cloud is not a high-profile target for such hackers, our data centers are equipped with industry-standard privacy measures to ensure the greatest possible amount of security for every customer.
3. Customer support: Customer support can be a major sticking point for a small business. If you’re not able to get the kind of response time you need for technical support, it can end up costing you time, money and even customers. If you need immediate help troubleshooting, a local provider is often the better bet. Large providers have so many customers that they often aren’t able to provide the kind of real-time help a small business depends on. Look at what options each provider offers (email, phone, chat, user forums, etc.) for getting help and check to see if there are upcharges for receiving a certain level of service before you sign a contract.
4. Personalized consultation and assistance: If you’re migrating your business to the cloud, you probably aren’t sure which resources you’ll need. You might err on the side of caution and purchase more than is required, which will reduce your return on investment.
Working with a local provider like Aventis Systems gives you access to personalized consultation services to help you evaluate current needs and plan for your growth.
Putting the ‘Service’ Back in ‘Cloud Service Provider’
Investing in the future of your company by migrating to the cloud has numerous benefits, but those benefits can be diminished if you don’t choose the right service provider. Take time to ask the right questions and weigh all the factors before making your decision so you’ll get the service provider that’s the right fit for your company.