The number of cloud services available to small business owners is staggering. Each one comes with pros and cons, but there’s one cloud service that every business with a server should consider: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Sometimes referred to as Co-location services, this solution gives you unrestricted remote access to hardware in an IT provider’s tightly guarded datacenter. Whether the infrastructure you’re paying for is a server or a firewall, you pay a flat monthly fee and your IT provider takes care of powering, cooling, updating, and supporting it. This helps SMBs address Connecticut’s shortage of qualified technicians, which was the top technology concern in the 2016 Survey of Small Businesses.
What are the benefits of IaaS?
Beyond access to high-end hardware that is closely monitored by certified professionals, IaaS pricing is based on how much of the service you actually use in a month rather than the costs of the hardware connected to it.
For example, when purchasing an on-site server outright, you’re stuck with what’s on the shelf. If there’s nothing in stock that meets your needs, or those needs change soon after the purchase, you don’t have many options.
Managed IT services providers (MSPs) like Charles IT finely tune IaaS solutions so you never need to worry about whether hardware is over- or under-powered. You can add or subtract the exact amount of capacity you need, which means you’ll boost efficiency, reliability, and security while also cutting down capital expenditures.
Here are the most common solutions SMBs access over the internet via an IaaS service:
- Email servers - Seasonal fluctuations in employee and customer communications mean email servers are one of the most inefficient IT resources
- VoIP systems - Telecommunications infrastructure like routers, gateways, and switches can be hosted and supported by an IT provider
- Firewalls - Specialized network devices can protect all your computers from outside your office
- Data storage - Privately hosted storage is more secure because you know exactly where your drives are located and who has physical access to them
- Backup hardware - On-call devices will take over core business functions if your office is struck by disaster
If you’re unsure which of these solutions is the right fit for your business, talk to us about a network audit. Certified technicians will come to your location and identify inefficiencies that could be corrected with co-location services and outsourced IT support.
Who should use IaaS?
Deciding whether or not IaaS is right for you comes down to how much money you spend maintaining IT hardware. If you already have a server that requires minimal maintenance and no plans to grow your business, you might be better off sticking with your current system.
However, from our experience supporting businesses in Hartford, the benefits of IaaS almost always outweigh the costs if you employ more than 35 employees. That’s when the scalability and convenience of off-site hardware really pays off, especially in these industries:
- Healthcare - An MSP’s data center can handle HIPAA requirements for you, including physical and technical safeguards
- Non-profit - Outsourced IT support is a fixed subscription cost rather than another department with unpredictable needs and expenditures
- Manufacturing - Hardware efficiency and reliability is built into your service level agreement so you can stay productive around the clock.
For industries with more straightforward IT needs, we recommend checking out a Desktop-as-a-Service solution, which allows users to log into high-powered desktops from almost any computer, laptop, or mobile device.
Prepare for the future
IaaS is just one of many solutions Charles IT offers to help businesses in the Hartford area increase their bottom lines. If inefficient technology is holding your office back from its full potential, our team of consultants and technicians can create a customized plan to drive growth. Call or message us today to get started.