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The pressure to move your operations to cloud technology has been intensifying in the last few years. But some businesses feel reticent to make the change. Abandoning hardware could mean you’re effectively putting all your eggs in one basket, a possibly unreliable basket that has the ability to tip over at any time. In this post we discuss why hardware is still important whether you choose to use it alongside cloud technology or on its own.
Cloud computing dependence
Data loss through cloud dependence is a growing concern. The proclaimed ‘father of the Internet’ Google VP Vint Cerf voiced fears that we are entering a digital ‘dark age’ where nothing is recorded physically and it could all go down in a moment.
"…what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is." (BBC News 13th Feb: Google's Vint Cerf warns of 'digital Dark Age')
What about storing data in the cloud?
It’s a sobering thought that the 21st century (with its reliance on social media and online services) might not be recorded in history as well as anything that came before, and cloud could mean that your business history gets wiped or lost in time.
Research in 2013 by Symantec found that out of the 3,200 cloud-using companies they spoke to, over 43% have lost data in the cloud (Investors.com 16th Jan 2013: Cloud computing users are losing data.)
The cloud has many great uses for business – enabling collaborations, lowering costs and increasing capacity. But it should not completely replace the need for hardware. Having something saved physically (whether you also save it in the cloud) means you can find it without the need to go online and you’re fairly sure that (unless your PC breaks) it won’t be lost. And even if your PC has a problem, data can still be retrieved.
Another thing to consider about cloud computing is how secure your data actually is. Chucking your important data into the cloud renders it more susceptible to hackers than storing it on your hard-drive.
Is cloud cheaper?
Cloud hosting, programme and server solutions: while they seem like a small monthly cost they can, over time, eat into your budget. Before considering cloud technology look at how much it would cost to purchase a server outright for say, four to five years use (the business replacement average) vs. the cost of the cloud service. In some cases, when you take into account the total cost of ownership, cloud can end up being the more expensive option.
Build on your foundations...
Hardware is still an important component so whether you’re running a big business or starting out – hardware, not cloud should be your priority. You need a good technology foundation, with a raft of hardy machines that have the ability to store and work how you want them to, and ensure you’re safeguarded against any substantial data loss. You can experiment with cloud, as we said, lots of the services are really useful, but keeping a copy of everything on your hardware will save a lot of red faces should your cloud service come into difficulty.
TLC or refurbish?
If you already have the hardware and it’s just in need of some TLC, you might want to check out our repairs and spares services. And if you’re considering replacements, have a think about purchasing a refurbished server, laptop or PC – it’s so much cheaper than a brand new model.
Check out our recent post Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Refurb for more information.