Looking through the information our last blog, What Kind of Business Will Benefit From the Cloud?, it’s hard to imagine any downside to the cloud. But while the benefits are great, they may not be that important to some businesses. For those companies, making a major change such as a move to the cloud may not make sense. If any of the following apply to your business, you may not benefit as much from a move to the cloud.
Applications that require a lot of processing power and memory, such as the computer aided design (CAD) programs that many architects and engineers use, may be better suited to traditional on-site computers. It’s easy to add processing power in the cloud, where applications run on a virtual server – but adding a lot of memory or drive space could increase monthly cloud computing costs. If your business relies on these types of applications, the cloud may not be a good choice for them. However, you might consider keeping them on local computers while running your productivity applications, email and other non-resource-intensive systems and programs in the cloud.
Few Remote or Mobile Users
If you have just one office and all your employees work there, you won’t experience two of the main benefits of the cloud – lowering IT costs for multiple offices and making resources more easily available to mobile or off-site workers. You’ll want to carefully consider whether there are other compelling reasons to move to the cloud before you seriously consider making such a change.
Stable Workforce, Standardized Technology
In our experience, many professional services firms – such as CPA offices with a single office and few remote users – often simply don’t experience the rapid growth or business fluctuations that dramatically change demand for resources. There’s not as much benefit in establishing cloud computing in these environments, since they rarely if ever need to allocate resources dynamically. These types of businesses will likely benefit from the cloud in the future, as more software vendors begin to offer line-of-business applications on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. But for now, there’s no compelling reason to move their business to the cloud.
Clients Not in the Cloud: Two Cases in Point
1. One medical equipment manufacturer we work with extensively uses resource-intensive CAD software to design the equipment they manufacture. If they moved that software to the cloud, they would risk incurring significant costs for additional memory or hard drive space needed to accommodate those applications.
2. A CPA firm that we’ve served for 20 years is about the same size now as it was when we first started working with them. With no growth in headcount, standardized computing resources across all their staff and just one office, they have little reason to change to a computing model whose benefits lie in making it easier and less costly to operate multiple locations and to support an expanding and/or shrinking workforce.
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Bill McCharen, COO
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