What is The Cloud?
There is a lot of buzz going on about the cloud, and in this month's issue we'll try to give you clear, straightforward information to help you make smart business choices. Let's first take a look at what it is: while cloud technologies can refer to many things, the context in which this term is most often used is to refer to computing platforms that are a) scalable, so that you can easily increase or decrease the amount of resources you use, b) redundant, so that they are reliably available in a manner that makes device failures (nearly) transparent to your users, and c) reachable in a manner that is consistent regardless of your location - in the office, at a hotel or on your smartphone, you reach your resources the same way. In clear English, instead of buying equipment and software, you are renting it from someone who takes responsibility for maintaining it and for engineering around the necessary failures and maintenance outages that are associated with all computer systems.
Cloud offerings come in many forms; you can rent a server for several years or for a few weeks, or you can buy access to just the application (e.g. Salesforce.com or hosted Exchange mailboxes.) In all cases you are renting the computing power of an elaborate infrastructure the vendor has set up in advance. The most noticeable, immediate benefits of this approach are that there is no capital expenditure - all you are paying is a monthly service fee - and that you can roll out relatively large systems in very little time; tens or hundreds of servers, or thousands of mailboxes, can be provisioned overnight. The downside is usually cost - the elaborate infrastructures associated with cloud environments are expensive, and those vendors must recoup their investments, provide maintenance and make a profit, so the TCO of a cloud service can be higher that just purchasing the equipment. Under some circumstances, cloud services can also make regulatory compliance more difficult.
Cloud technologies promise to revolutionize the way computing is done, but they are not for everyone nor for everything, and it is important to understand the long-term consequences of adopting them for your business. Assessing your cloud readiness is a serious matter. Integrated IT Solutions has many cloud offerings. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you'd like to learn more about what the cloud is (and isn't).
Satisfaction Surveys from our Remote Services Dept.
We have received great response since implementing our customer satisfaction surveys in the RSC. Thank you to all who have provided feedback on our services! We encourage everyone to take a few minutes to respond to the satisfaction surveys when a remote ticket gets completed. We are always striving to improve our level of service delivery and your opinion matters!