If you’ve read any of my previous Insights articles, you’ve probably figured out that I am a huge advocate of leveraging the full potential of the cloud (using IaaS) and enjoying all of the benefits that come with it. This may not apply to every business, but I can’t imagine that most businesses wouldn’t benefit from completely migrating IT to the cloud.
In the future, we’ll explore a variety of ways that leveraging the cloud in the right way can improve business operations. But in this article I am going to highlight one very specific and very important benefit of tapping into the power of an IaaS Cloud-based solution – business continuity.
Remember the ice storms right here in Wilmington this February? I wonder how many hours and dollars were lost by local businesses whose operations froze … just like the tree limbs that were dragging power lines to the ground. No Internet in the office. No access to work files. No work getting done. Not to mention the risk that files weren’t properly backed up and could be lost as systems crashed. I don’t care whether its an ice storm, a hurricane, a flood or just a lot of Internet traffic slowing down your connection, the inability to get work done efficiently, or at all, is costly in so many ways. Productivity stops. Sales stop. Customers get frustrated. But you still have to pay your employees who are probably enjoying their paid days off.
Some businesses don’t have a continuity plan, which can be particularly unpleasant if the phones and computers both go down. But even the businesses with the foresight to establish a solid continuity plan are likely to have substantial downtime and decreased productivity – unless they use the cloud properly.
As a reminder, with an IaaS setup, every employee’s computer or laptop is really just a gateway to access the central data center from which all company files, programs and applications reside. It’s called desktop virtualization, and it’s a lot like it sounds. Wherever you go, if there’s Internet, you can log in and it’s just like you’re at your desktop. And that’s because everything, programs, applications, files and even your “desktop” is actually housed at the data center. At home you log in into the data center on your laptop and there’s your desktop. On a vacation you borrow your kid’s laptop to log in—there’s your desktop. You can run the same programs, access the same files—it’s always 100 percent consistent because it’s always available on the cloud.
So, how does this sound for a business continuity plan? If there’s ever a disaster or problem that causes the office to close, find Internet access and keep working. There’s no change in the user experience or the user’s ability to do everything he or she was doing from the office.
And by the way, phone service can be set up on the cloud too. If the office phone lines go down, calls can be automatically forwarded to mobile phones or other numbers. In the cloud, you can weather any storm because desktop virtualization gives a whole new meaning to business as usual.
In future Insights articles I will provide a more in-depth look at other business continuity methods to consider. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the latest innovative business continuity solutions available, feel free to contact us here at CloudWyze. We’d be happy to offer some free advice about ensuring your business is always up and running.
Shaun Olsen is the CEO and President of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.cloudwyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or 910-795-1000.
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