If you manage the IT needs for your business then I can guarantee you’ve had this conversation in the last two years: “Are you using the Cloud yet?” If your response is, "No" then I bet their next statement is “But why? Cloud servers are cheaper”.
Why move to cloud servers?
Cost is a big selling point of cloud servers. There are other factors but cost is the main one.
Everyone is looking to cut business costs now. Reducing budgets and streamlining has become part and parcel of what we do in business nowadays.
Yet someone just telling you that cloud servers are cheaper is not enough to make a wise person make the switch. You want to know why, and how, is it cheaper? That answer will help you decide whether the Cloud is right for your business.
Here are Intrahost’s top 10 tips for using cloud servers to cut your costs:
- No need for a physical server. Let’s start with the most immediate physical difference in using the Cloud. That big server that’s taking up space in the corner of your office, (or has an air-conditioned room to itself) is no longer needed. Instead you will, basically, rent a physical server owned by your Cloud vendor, in a data centre. We call this a "cloud server". You'll store or host your business data on this cloud server. You have the same access to it but you don’t need to house it. How does that save you money? Well you need less space, for a start. You could use a smaller office. As you will see later all the ancillary costs of owning your own server, for example, the current and capital costs of maintenance, repair, upgrade and replacement will disappear. Other regular monthly costs such as energy bills will fall, as will your insurance premium.
- Cloud servers cut down on the costs of IT staff. No one likes to let someone go. However, no one likes having to pay for staff that they don’t need. If you have IT staff that simply maintain your physical server and manage its software then you might not need to have them full-time if you move to cloud servers. Signing up to a Cloud vendor means much of your daily IT management is outsourced to the staff of the Cloud vendor and you may no longer need the current level of your IT manpower.
- Do you still need the same office? If you’re replacing your big physical servers with remote cloud servers, then you're reducing the demand for space and you’re also removing the need for the whole team to continue to work from the same place. If you compliment your cloud servers with hosted SharePoint or Hosted Exchange then you’re making it easier for your team to work remotely. Whether working from home or by linking up with consultants and specialists in different places you’re gradually removing the need to have everyone working from 9-5 every day under the same roof. Read our Top Ten Tips on Remote Working to find out more about the impact this could have on your business and its costs.
- Software as a service, or SaaS, means that you only have to pay for the applications you’re actually going to use on your cloud servers. There’s no longer any need for ‘bloatware’ or programs that will run on your computer because you bought them as a package deal but that aren’t relevant to your business. What difference does that make? It helps to reduce costs. You’re only paying for what you’re likely to use, like a pick and mix. Say you just need an email service to link all your staff together and help them to connect with calendars and shared tasks then perhaps it’s just worth you getting Hosted Exchange. You don’t get locked into a wider, all-encompassing and expensive deal.
- If you're using SaaS then you'll save time and money because you won't need to perform software updates! One of the most frustrating things about buying software programs is how often you need to update them. Patches, tweaks, the list goes on and it’s all time-consuming and frustrating. However if you opt for SaaS then your cloud server vendor is likely to be the one who will update the software for you, remotely. You don’t need to plan it into your time and diary as it’ll just be done and you’ll always be used the latest version of the program.
- If the software you’re using it updated remotely, if you only install the software you’re going to need, then it reduces the need for expensive staff training. If you’re still using a physical server at your office then you’re still relying on your IT team to monitor and manage all of your software. It’s a bit of a clunky system as it’s expensive to run and you’re cautious about investing in wholesale changes to the programs. Yet there will come a day when the software you’re using is outdated and you need to overhaul it and modernise. It won’t feel like you’ve saved much money then. The Cloud allows you to make step by step changes helping you modernise at your own pace. Small changes remove the need for an expensive investment in training.
- Cloud servers allow you to change your IT capability and all associated costs for no capital outlay and just a predictable monthly fee. If you’re a small to medium sized business then making a big investment in any kind of kit can feel like a big step. Say you need to invest in more processing power. It helps you to do the work you’re doing quicker and gives you more capacity for clients but at the same it might feel like an expensive step, particularly if there are other elements of your business you could do with investing in as well. Perhaps it feels like too big a risk. The Cloud offers wider possibilities. If you sign up to a cloud server, for example, you can get guaranteed CPU power, which could be more than what you already. Alternatively you could collaborate with another small business and share the investment, both renting the same amount of space on the same cloud servers but sharing the load.
- What do you do with the money you save using cloud servers? The opportunity to invest and increase your business with the money you save is a good one. SMEs claim that investing in cloud servers has helped them to become more flexible and streamlined. Because they have capacity, it makes it much easier for them to research and identify new opportunities to expand and grow. It might be through working with consultants who bring a particular skill and can offer you a new service, it might be that you use that extra capacity to encourage staff to come up with new and creative ideas about how they might be able to help you grow. Whatever the way you choose to do it the extra space can be used to help you develop your business, making you stronger and more sustainable.
- Easy and inexpensive expansion and contraction of your IT capabilities to meet resource demands. Imagine your business does start to grow and you come up with some awesome new creative ideas. Imagine your dreams come true and you start to build up momentum and people start to take notice. Say you’re on twitter and a big magazine or celebrity retweets you, directing everyone to your website. Would it make your current website crash? Being locked into an antiquated deal that doesn't understand the growth in direct and online marketing means you could be putting all of this energy into raising your profile and reaching more customers and it actually damages your brand when they can’t reach your website. A cloud server deal with Intrahost gives you metered access, meaning it doesn’t matter how many people suddenly flood to your website, they’ll all still be able to access it.
- Can you put a price on a happy crew? One saving you get from utilising cloud servers isn't one you can immediately put in your wallet. Cloud servers can help you give your staff much more control over how, when and where they work. When employees have more control they are undoubtedly happier. When technology becomes less of a headache and more of a useful tool then it makes the job easier for them. Happier staff are more productive staff. In the long term it’ll make your business a much nicer place to work and far more productive.
Intrahost's cloud servers are among the most stable and fastest cloud VPS servers in the UK. To learn more about cloud servers and what they can help you, click on the button below.