Businesses need a resilient IT system to thrive, because disruption and downtime can damage a firm’s reputation and lead to severe consequences, even if the duration of outages is relatively short.
One way to make enterprise IT more reliable is to adopt cloud computing, since this type of solution is inherently more robust than anything available on-site.
But what makes the cloud a more reliable system and can all businesses benefit from its resilience?
Monitoring, Maintenance and Hardware Redundancy
Although IT has become more reliable thanks to technological advances over the decades, there are still many issues with both hardware and software which can crop up to undermine business performance.
If you decide to stick with an on-site set-up, you will have to dedicate IT staff to monitoring and maintaining equipment and apps, checking not only for faults in the hardware itself, but also looking out for misuse and abuse of software, whether originating internally or coming from a malicious external source.
Ideally, this will require a round-the-clock presence, which is not viable for the majority of businesses. But with the cloud, you get this kind of constant monitoring and much more besides.
Cloud providers design data centres to make it easy for maintenance to occur, with uptime levels far more impressive than those available on-site and downtime usually occurring to coincide with scheduled work and upgrades.
If issues do arise unexpectedly then many providers will also have back-up solutions in place, ensuring that apps and data are still available to enterprise clients, with seamless transitioning between facilities and servers as appropriate.
Businesses which have had to suffer through protracted periods of downtime will appreciate why the cloud’s promise of improved system reliability is so significant, while those that have been lucky enough to avoid such situations should look to adopt so that they can continue to do so.
Even if a business manages to arrange an internal set-up which is monitored adequately and can be maintained and mended in the event of hardware or software faults, there is no way to predict the types of disasters which might befall the hardware infrastructure.
Inclement weather, fires, power outages and connectivity issues can all cause devastating IT issues, or even combine to render an in-house set-up completely inaccessible.
If mission-critical apps and data are only housed in one location, it is difficult to avoid the damage that can be done, let alone undo it.
But because cloud computing allows you to host these services at a remote facility which will have been designed to withstand the worst that the world can throw at it, you will be in a much better position to enact a business continuity plan in a worst-case scenario.
Even if your office is out of action, with business apps and data available in the cloud your staff will be able to work remotely, whether from home or from a secondary location.
You could even transfer the major operations of your company over to a second site while work to restore the office is completed, without having to drop a single customer or miss any sales in the process.
Cloud computing is an asset to everyday enterprise IT, but can also be a life raft that keeps an organisation afloat when it is down on its luck.
Reliability of this kind makes cloud investment sensible and because the cloud is innately scalable, businesses small and large alike can reap its benefits. The alternative involves tying the fortunes of your business to one geographic location, which is inadvisable given the importance of IT in the digital age.