Business owners often move to cloud computing because they believe it will save money.  While that’s true in many cases, make sure you include all the potential costs before you make the switch.

Consider these costs to be confident that cloud computing will save your business money:

Subscription Licensing Fees

Cloud applications like Office 365, SalesForce or QuickBooks are subscription-based, which saves you from paying a larger, one-time licensing fee.  However, your costs may actually be greater over time with the subscription than in a one-time licensing purchase.  Remember to project these costs.

On-Site Hardware

 You may still need at least one on-premise server to keep your business running smoothly.  For example:

  • Most small businesses need at least one on-premise server to handle network authentication, manage user rights, printing, and a local file share (Word, Excel, etc).
  • Personal preference also dictates what services remain on-premise.  Some companies are very comfortable putting their accounting application in the cloud and others wouldn’t consider it.
  • You may use customized software that isn’t available as a cloud service.

Your IT provider will help you determine which applications you can move to the cloud and which need to remain on-site. 

You may find you prefer to keep a hybrid system of cloud and on-premise.  Or, you may plan to move completely to the cloud over time.  Either way, have a solid estimate of costs before you begin.

Internet Connectivity  

Cloud computing requires moving significant amounts of data over the Internet.  Using cloud may require more Internet bandwidth than you currently use, which means you’ll need an upgrade.  Remember to include increased Internet fees in your planning budget.

Ease of Use

Don’t forget the potential cost-savings of giving your staff the ability to access all their documents from anywhere, on any device, as long as they have reliable Internet. 

Shifting your business IT from an on-premise model to cloud computing takes expertise and planning.  Consider all the costs to determine if cloud computing will save your business money.

If you need help handling IT in your business, contact CRU Solutions.