The Cloud for a while now has been a buzzword in the field of tech. However it isn’t the only way to move forward with today’s technology. We are going to discuss some alternatives ways in which you can work without using the Cloud.
What is the cloud and what can the cloud offer?
At its core, the Cloud is a connected network of servers. The cloud often uses virtualisation to streamline the provision of services to your company in a way that is seamless. So what appears to you as the output in your Cloud application maybe the accumulated effort from a number of different virtual servers working together in synchrony. The hardware involved maybe located in highly sophisticated datacentres often allowing your company access to computing huge resources, which you may not otherwise be able to afford. There are also software applications developed specifically for the Cloud which use its technology to maximise performance and flexibility.
Though there are indeed many advantages to the Cloud, you may be scared at the thought of uploading your company’s private information to a Cloud service, and rightly so as once it leaves your company premises you also lose a certain amount of control you once had over your information. Essentially you do not know who has access to your information internally within a Cloud provider’s organisation and you may not be aware of which government organisations also have access to your information, as they govern the location of your supplier’s datacenter. As well as this, the supplier may be subject to hacking or leaking which could compromise your data further. The best thing to do to combat this is to directly ask the supplier as to how your data is protected in the Cloud find out what they are doing for your company to ensure that they are keeping your information safe. Perhaps go to your Cloud supplier for reassurance that every means possible is being carried out to ensure the safety and integrity of your data.
What alternatives do you have to using the cloud?
It is not unknown for companies to build their own cloud on a smaller scale within their own organisation to suit their requirements. This can however become quite expensive and maybe unnecessary for what your company is trying to achieve, so if we are not considering building a local Cloud then perhaps getting some reasonably equipped servers is a good place to start. You may find that one server is not enough, so consider having a server for each role required by your application such as a database server, a web server and application server etc. Use these servers to install more modern software and serve this software to your documents on the network. If you are considering a new cloud based system, ask the supplier of that that system if they can provide a local version of the software to be installed on your company’s computer network. An example of this would be KPI Suite who offer an advanced Management Information System using the licence model of Software as a Service (SaaS) in a Cloud based environment, but also offer a locally installable version of the system. In addition to this, there is also Cloud style software that isn’t built for the cloud, but intended to be used on a local network. You will find that these kinds of software offer many of the same features. An example of this would be the use of Cloud style file sharing which operates in a similar way to Google Drive but on your local network. There are a number of packages out there on the market for file sharing in this way, some of which are even free.
– Create your own Cloud or setup a server or group of servers capable of servicing modern style applications.
– Check with SaaS providers to see if they offer a version of their software which can be installed locally.
– Consider other Cloud style applications on the market to see if any can provide you with the features you need but in house instead of in the Cloud.
Some suppliers may not be willing to allow you to install the application locally on your network as they rely on their license being in the cloud to protect the copyright of their intellectual property. They do this as it is a lot more difficult to break the licensing agreement of those software applications which are in the Cloud compared to that of locally installed applications. You will also need to buy the hardware and software required if you choose to setup a Cloud based application on your local network. Not only this, but you will also be responsible for the installation, configuration and maintenance of your systems. However, there may be some provision for support from the software provider for the direct configuration and maintenance of the application itself. Until recently, this is the way that all business computing has worked so it may not be such a big leap for your organisation, and if so you can then pull back some of the control you otherwise lose when using Cloud services.