Your server is getting old. You’ve noticed your current system is running slow which could be affecting efficiency in your business. Your staff have been complaining about the system and perhaps its reliability too. Your IT support company has patched up the system several times and done as much as they can to keep it going. Perhaps the hardware warranty on your server has expired and cannot be extended. Your business is at a enhance risk of an outage. So this would seem a good time to look at what the options available to you are.
Most servers are usually designed to last around 5 years, of course this can depend on the usage and if the business expands they may need to upgrade sooner. The environment the server is in and the type of server can also depend on its lifespan.
So do you replace it with a new server or move to the cloud?
The advantages of the cloud
On-site hardware is expensive involving a large up front cost, and it has more potential to let you down. That’s why many small businesses are looking at moving to the cloud.
Cloud is ideal for small companies; it allows you to be more flexible and save on IT costs, resulting in higher revenues and increased efficiency. It is also scalable, so you can grow as a business while enjoying the capabilities of your larger rivals. Meanwhile, most providers don’t lock you in to lengthy contracts.
Migrating to the cloud allows you to access data wherever you are, using devices such as smartphones and tablets – great if you or your employees spend a lot of time out in the field.
But perhaps most importantly, using cloud services gives you the security cover that many small businesses lack. Replacing your server with cloud means someone else is making sure you are secure, protecting you and your clients’ important data. You aren’t responsible for firewalls, antivirus software or even backups.
When to buy a new server
The first thing to weigh up is the costs per user, the larger amount of users the more costly the cloud becomes and this may mean that you would be better off purchasing a new server.
It maybe that your business deals with particularly large files which make the cloud a costly option.
Some businesses in rural areas don’t tend to have very fast broadband so this may mean that you are limited as to what services you can run in the cloud.
If your business operations currently dictate that you do not require remote access, then there is also an argument that hosting on the Cloud provides little benefit to you. With your existing systems already running the software you require, your business is not at risk of downtime through internet failure.
Replacing your server might seem like the cheaper option, but it will not always be right for some companies. For example, if you buy a server, you have to factor in that you are building a system that needs to adjust to all potential growth.
On the other hand, buying a cloud solution allows you to only purchase what you need; over the long term it can cut costs and allow you to scale as your business grows.
Cloud is also the best option for small businesses with remote workers or staff out in the field. It is more secure too; you are future-proofing your data by asking an external provider to host your server.
If you decide to dump your server, moving to cloud is simple and can often take less time than migrating to a new server.