Do Businesses Still Need IT Services in the Cloud?
Cloud computing has transformed the way that businesses purchase and maintain their technology. The transformative power of the cloud can help you reduce costs and streamline efficiency, but it can also create confusion.
In particular, businesses in Florida often misunderstand the type and level of IT support they’ll need once they’re “in the cloud.” If your cloud infrastructure is managed by the experts at Microsoft, Google, or other providers, why would your company need an IT service firm at all anymore?
The reality is that the need for IT services is still strong in the cloud era, but the type of support your business needs will continue to shift as it moves along its cloud journey. To help business leaders understand this new landscape better, let’s drill down into two key points:
- The kind of support cloud computing services require
- What businesses should expect from an IT team with cloud specialization
Maintaining Business Efficiency and Stability in the Cloud
Cloud services have eliminated some of the trickier tasks associated with IT management, but there’s still ample work to be done to make sure that cloud infrastructure delivers on all its promises. Here are a few key areas where you’ll need your IT partner to focus.
Ensure the Resilience of Your Infrastructure
While it’s true that cloud moves those costs from your balance sheet to the cloud service provider’s, what’s less discussed is that moving important data and services to the cloud puts extra stress on your telecom devices and infrastructure.
Your routers, network switches, firewalls, and virtual private networks are important to establishing connectivity between your staff and your cloud services. The failure of any of those devices will cause serious disruptions to your workday that rival the failure of on-premise systems.
To avoid these problems, you’ll need an IT team to design and manage an infrastructure that’s powerful enough to support your day-to-day work, flexible enough to accommodate company growth, and resilient enough to withstand cyberattack.
Other important tasks that fall under this umbrella include:
- Monitor cloud server performance
- Manage redundant communications
- Track resource usage and utilization
- Reduce latency and keep ensure tight integration of critical systems
Whether internal or outsourced, your IT department will play a key role in the success of each of these areas, helping you achieve all the efficiency gains and cost savings you hoped to achieve.
Worldwide spending on public cloud services grew by 20.4% in 2022, for a total $494.7 billion, according to Gartner.
Ensure Strong Cloud Cybersecurity
Data flowing freely between on-premise systems and your users and cloud services unlocks massive potential. It enables your staff to collaborate on new projects, respond to customer requests faster, and generally be more creative and productive than they’d otherwise be.
What’s talked about a bit less in the marketing literature is the complex security and compliance ramifications of having data move so fluidly.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, security was a top-of-mind concern for companies in regulated industries like healthcare or finance. Since the pandemic, the environment has only become more challenging, with work from home arrangements becoming the new standard and the raw number of cyberattacks hitting small and midsized businesses reaching historic highs.
- Hardened Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
VPN connections are critical to protecting data that’s in transit to and from cloud services. They create a shielded, secure tunnel for data to pass through, so your staff can connect to cloud platforms and other network resources with confidence that your data is safe from cyber criminals.Many companies already have a VPN solution in place, but not all of them have updated them for the era of company-wide cloud productivity. To ensure your VPN keeps data secure, your IT team will need to regularly test VPN performance, review your VPN logfiles for unusual behavior, and monitor bandwidth usage.
- Improved Password Management
The average employee at an American company is now accessing between 8 and 25 unique cloud applications as part of their daily work. Each of those services should have a unique password, so that an intruder who compromises one system doesn’t have easy access to all the user’s other accounts.To effectively manage all those passwords at scale means businesses must start to take password management seriously.First, ensure that two-facto authentication has been properly deployed on each of your systems and that any mobile device used as a second factor is secure. Additionally, businesses may also choose to deploy a password management solution like LastPass or Dashlane to incentivize employees to avoid duplicate passwords and enforce company password policies.
- Greater Focus on Data Governance
Having a plan for managing the data on cloud applications helps ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of your data. While the term “data governance” may sound intimidating for most small or midsized business, at the simplest level it simply means clarifying data ownership and security measures for data handling.
Did you know that 90% of passwords can be cracked in less than 6 hours, or that passwords using 8 characters or less can be cracked in just 1 hour?
How to Choose an IT Services Team with Cloud Computing Expertise
What does all this mean for businesses who are looking for a new IT services provider? It means finding an IT services provider who has cloud-specific skills. In addition to expertise in the areas listed above, you should see if they have competence in the following areas as well.
Cloud Planning and Migration
Not all cloud computing programs achieve the return on investment that they set out to achieve. One of the leading reasons for this is because business lack a clear sense of what they’re trying to achieve with their cloud initiative.
Cloud planning means having specific, measurable, achievable goals for your cloud deployment that will help you solve a well-defined business problem. Even if your business has migrated some of its network infrastructure to the cloud, you’ll want an IT service provider who can help you with any cloud strategy question you have in the future
Achieving cost efficiency in the cloud is not always a given. According to Gartner, 60% of infrastructure and operations leaders at midsized businesses will encounter cost overruns associated with public clouds. Can your new IT service provider help you navigate the cost complexity in cloud computing and help
Tampa’s Trusted Cloud Computing Services Provider
Deploying and managing cloud applications and services can be a challenge. For over two decades, the LNS Solutions team has been helping small and midsized companies in Tampa find technology confidence, which includes ensuring cloud stability, security, and compliance.
If you have questions for our cloud computing team, feel free to contact us any time. We look forward to speaking with you.