I want to run my entire business on line – what do you think Hal?

Hal – I’m a small business owner  and have had my own small business server for several years. Its up for renewal and I’m thinking about using that new cloud thing for providing services to my staff. It seems like everything is out there – should I move all my IT functions to the cloud ? Kevin.

Kevin – like any decision that could affect your business you need to get advice on the differences between on premise services, managed services and offsite services. The move to the cloud for Software as a Service (Saas) and Infrastructure as a Services (Iaas) needs to be balanced against the limitations in current communications infrastructure (Is your broadband up the job of running all these applications from the cloud?).

Some other things to consider – Is you data safe ? Both from loss and inadvertent access  ?

What arrangements have your potential suppliers for disaster recovery ? What timescales do they work to and what work hours are covered if they operate in a different timezone ?

Have you compared the costs of keeping it inhouse and developing an appropriate disaster recovery plan with a local IT company with moving to these (potentially) more expensive providers ? What commitment does it require – 1 month – 3months – 12 months ?

Recently I evaluated a proposal for outsourcing desktop and office applications and found that the cost to run was more than three times than the convention in house approach. I’d suggest looking at the arrangements and costs you have before moving to something that you will have much less control of.

It reminds me of the old Irish saying “The far away hills are always greenest”