Two things to consider when evaluating the cloud

Cloud this and cloud that is all of the rage right now.  And it probably will be for a few more years.  Hopefully your not one of these people that just jumps into something because it’s new and all the rage.  Here’s a few of my personal thoughts about the cloud as the director of IT for a small business.

The cloud make sense for off sites backups.  Most small business’s are not going to want to spend the money to setup an off site backup in another location. And lets face it…trucking tapes or hard drives off site will work but you’ve got to remember to do it each month. If you don’t your screwed.  So having an automated process to ship it to Amazon or Google or whoever your cloud provider is makes sense.  It’s automated and it’s probably backed up to a few different locations.

If you are just getting started with a web site or an app, the cloud makes sense.  You don’t have to buy a server and a co-location service, which can cost a lot out of the pocket.  Even if your app or website takes off you can probably still use those services, but beware that at some point it’s going to make more sense to buy a server and find a co-location service.  I’m not yet convinced that going to the cloud for a large scale is the way to go.  Think about it.  You can buy a server for say $5,000.  You can get a co-location facility for, well I’m not 100% sure what the month cost is.  But just do your math to see where the break even point is.  Maybe hardware is not something that you want to deal with and money isn’t an issue. Then by all means the cloud does make sense.  On the flip side if you don’t need to push the boundaries on computing power and you run your servers past their service end date, then I don’t think the cloud is needed.

These are just two things that I think of when I think of cloud computing for a small business.  I’m sure there are others, but these two should be near the top of your list for consideration.