Technology is King

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

5 ways to save money on cloud computing services… and why technology is King

For many companies nowadays, from sole traders & SME’s to multi-nationals, the increasing burden of the global financial crisis has spoken the same single word (except for banks, which seem to have nine lives, valued at about £100 billion a pop). This word is cost, the evil half of the parents who produced Profit. As employees batten down the hatches to ride out the financial storm (and ensuing chaos), the captain of the ship is left strapped to the helm picking the best route from a selection of bad ones.

Areas usually sacrificed are marketing, labour and (understandably) technology. However, with the ever increasing abilities of technology, is it really wise to ignore the benefits for fear of its cost. It’s easy to say when the future of your business isn’t on the line, but technology nowadays is an extremely important part of business, and the options are so varied that it can’t be as black and white as – ‘no extra investment in the next financial year unless absolutely necessary’.

One area which presents cost savings to business is cloud computing, ranging from network virtualisation and on-the-go work tools to disaster recovery and data backup. Recent reports by O’Reilly Media and the Boston Consulting Group found that companies wishing to equal the per server marginal cost the cloud offers would have to install between five and fifteen thousand servers. Obviously to a small business that means very little, but even on a small-scale, the average % saving to business through cloud computing was 29% when compared to internal IT departments, and 16% when compared to managed IT services.

At BackThatUp, we aim to provide all of the following to save you money on cloud computing, make sure whoever you look at does the same:

  1. Only back up the data you NEED to back up. Watch out for anyone who wants to replicate everything on your server, firstly it’ll take too long. Secondly, it’s completely unnecessary!
  2. Flexibility and lots of it. Make sure your data plan is flexible. Can you scale down as well as up? Does your contract roll monthly or are you committed to extensive contracts?
  3. Money! Well sort of… Time is money, and cloud computing should save you time. It should not only save you time in ‘replacing tape drives’, but also in accessing your backed up files and allowing you to work from anywhere. Can you retrieve your files instantly? Can you access them on the go from mobile devices?
  4. Security – Is your data in a public or a private cloud? Who can access the data? Do you have a designated account manager? Can the company provide referrals from similar companies? This may sound like nothing, but down-time can seriously increase cost in other areas of your business such as labour, refunds and lost good will.
  5. Watch out for optional extras! As with buying a car, these can rack up the price quite significantly, quite quickly. Watch for extra charges associated with ‘modules’ or ‘add-ons’ (often including MySQL and VMWare, but even Exchange has been chargeable!) Look for a service which provides a flat-rate, all-encompassing service.

This may be hard to find, but the market is still in its infancy and is hugely competitive with the market price not yet settled, so good deals can be found!

In a world where price sensitivity is akin to a broken tooth, and where technology is increasing astronomically (by 2030 one computer chip will have the processing power of every human brain combined), is there merit in developing a technological strategy in the same way we look at accounting and marketing?

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