By Paul McEvoy, the ‘Google Apps Guy’ with Baker Security & Networks
Q. What do most packaged food items have in common?
A . Best Before Date.
Once bitten twice shy hence I am always checking the best before date of food items. If the BB date is in the past then the product hits the bin. So that got me thinking – What is the best before date for most of the software applications that businesses use today? After checking out the packaging of all of the software applications that I found in our office – surprise surprise – No BB date! But hold on – Remember 12 years ago Best Before Y2K – Yes the Millennium Bug, It would bite and crash all our systems if we did not bin our software and upgrade to the latest version.
Q. 12 years on are these software applications still in date?
A. No – The Best Before Date was January 2012
Unlike Y2K there is no panic this time around. Business can still continue to use the applications without the world coming to an end. But there is a cost involved to keep these applications in use. Software applications have grown so large and are getting so slow that they need new hardware and storage just to keep running not to mention backups and disaster recovery. Business need to spend more and more money on them just to keep them functioning.
Q. Is there a lower cost alternative to on-premise software applications that you can easily upgrade to? That requires no additional hardware or storage, that is maintenance free with a fixed fee, has all the latest bells and whistles that your business needs to be successful?
A. YES – The answer is in the Cloud
Unfortunately the Cloud covers a large area and it is made even larger by more and more software companies slapping a sticker on their product and calling it “Cloud”. So let me point you in the right direction by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the Cloud.
Where do I start with the Cloud?
The first step in your journey to the cloud should be to replace your on-premise email server with Google Apps for Business. Celebrating its 5th Birthday this year, Google Apps for Business is used by over 4 million businesses for email, document collaboration and voice & video communications.
What Cloud Provider should you use? Private Cloud or Public Cloud?
For Small to Medium businesses this is a no-brainer – Go with Public Cloud Providers. Public Cloud companies like Google provide enterprise software at a low cost pay-as-you-go service.
What Cloud Apps should I use?
The important applications that businesses use in-house are email, word processing, spreadsheets, accounting software, payroll, CRM and Video Conferencing. The good news is that all these applications are now available in the Cloud. The even better news is that you no longer have to worry about backups, upgrades, storage, remote access and the general maintenance and associated costs with keeping these applications running.
Is the Cloud Secure?
The question you should be asking is the Cloud more secure than my current environment? With the Cloud there is no loss of data due to hard disks crashing or backups being corrupt. No loss of data due to lost or stolen laptops and no more loss of data due to unauthorized access to your systems.