Entrepreneurial start-ups face many challenges and decisions. Saving costs is high on the agenda but so is protecting your sensitive data such as intellectual property and the personal data of your customers.
Whether or not to outsource your IT and adopt cloud services is one of the questions that must weighed in the balance.
The deciding factor should basically boils down to the level of support you need. You don’t have to store all your data in the cloud. According to IBM, most companies store as little as 20% of their data off-site.
Considering the benefits of cloud computing, start-up companies would ordinarily be expected to store more data in the cloud. However, a key reason for avoiding the cloud is a lack of relevant IT proficiency in cloud technologies.
Expertise, incidentally, is a key reason for seeking the help of qualified IT professionals that provide cloud-based services. Cloud specialists, therefore, demand a high salary so adding individuals to your on-premise team can ramp up your salary overheads.
In truth, there are some aspects of IT that don’t need to be handled on-site. It’s generally more cost-effective and time-efficient to utilise the services of IT support specialists.
Agility to Scale
Start-ups need the agility to grow. Cloud computing makes it easier to add more data and users without the hefty expense involved with on-site servers. The cloud is also less troublesome if you relocate to bigger offices.
Cloud computing enables you to increase data storage capacity, processing power, memory, and networking without any impact on your existing IT infrastructure.
Migrating to the cloud is also quick and easy with outsourced IT because they already have the infrastructure in place. Furthermore, third-party providers typically offer a wide range of other services start-ups can take advantage of.
Limit Amount of Downtime
The amount of uptime cloud providers offer can be critical for start-ups. Availability and Wi-Fi speeds are something to consider before choosing an outsourced IT support team.
Reliability is an expense you will be playing for so ensure your IT providers have safety nets in place. Key indicators to look for are service level agreements boasting 99.999% availability supported by automatic failover, servers, backup storage, security systems, and some sort of redundancy of power.
Speedy Data Back-Up and Recovery
As a startup, your team is likely to be producing high volumes of innovative data. In the event of a system collapse – which is more likely with on-premise infrastructure – critical information could be lost.
The worst-case scenario is that lost data will need to be rewritten. But that’s a loss of productivity that could impact tight deadlines, delay progress and put a dent in your revenue.
Cloud backup is practically instantaneous. With a low-latency network, we’re talking milliseconds. IT support teams will typically create Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) that give you more control over data and downtime.
Support BOYD Policy
The BYOD (bring your own device) conundrum is easily solved with a virtual desktop service. These comprehensive cloud-based solutions are compatible with the Mac, iOS, and Android operating systems and can accommodate multiple devices and applications.
With the question of utilising a hybrid office also grabbing the headline on boardroom agendas, virtual desktops provide another extra layer of security for employees working on home networks and unsecured wi-fi in public spaces.
Virtual desktops are run solely in the cloud rather than on-premise servers. This gives your team the autonomy and convenience to access files from anywhere without compromising your network.
Enhance Cyber Security
Cybersecurity should be a concern for startups. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that administer GDPR penalties has made it clear they will enforce the EU’s data protection laws on companies that fail to establish adequate data security defences.
Hackers typically target start-ups and small businesses because they know the networks are generally less secure. Malicious actors also have a variety of sophisticated strategies to infiltrate business networks.
Data security prevention can be expensive for start-ups. Like cloud computing, there is also a lack of skilled IT technicians available on the job market.
Moreover, if your local data is corrupted, you may not be able to recover it in a reasonable amount of time. Data suggests the average recovery time is around 2-4 weeks.
IT support services own advanced technologies that utilise various strategies to monitor, detect and prevent cyberattacks. Remote platforms provide real-time data and deploy strategies such as anti-virus software, multi-factor authentication and single sign-on.
Patch management is another cybersecurity solution start-ups should consider if time and cost is a pressing issue.
Software programs and applications in the public domain are favourite gateways for hackers to exploit. Vulnerabilities can provide access to computers, mobile devices, servers, technology systems, and home networks.
To protect their customers, the vendors are responsible for issuing “patches,” pieces of code that seal vulnerable gateways that can potential be exploited.
However, as we have discovered with thousands of Microsoft 365 breaches over the past year, the responsibility of big tech companies ends once the patch is released.
Individual companies are held liable to perform their own updates. If you fail to update the latest patch and then suffer a data breach, you could be hit with a hefty fine under GDPR.
Patch upgrades can be time-consuming. For start-ups, they can be an obstacle to productivity, particularly if the update takes several hours. You also have to rely on your workforce updating patches every time an update is released.
Patch management software can be implemented and managed remotely. Outsourced IT services present solutions that remove the burden from your employees and give you peace of mind that the various components of your IT infrastructure are secure.
Outsourcing your IT to a third party will not be the answer for every start-up, but if you rely heavily on digital technologies, deploy a remote workforce and collect sensitive data from consumers, there are more advantages than issues.
Having instant access to qualified IT professionals will help to ensure cloud servers are configured correctly, allow your team to work remotely on any device and help to sure up your data security defences.
About the Author
Richard has been a freelance writer since 2008 specialising in business technologies, digital marketing and future technology. He has vision and a penchant for gateau.