IT Business Continuity – Preparing For Winter (Part 2)


shutterstock_280258274For some companies, migrating traditional desktop applications to the cloud isn’t the best fit for the business. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still leverage the power of the cloud. For companies that aren’t looking to switch business application services but still want to move items to the cloud, they can migrate their IT environments to the cloud through an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider. IaaS providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure give companies enterprise level computing capabilities, at a fraction of the cost. IaaS providers help to keep a company going in the event a major winter storm disrupts normal operations.

Whereas Office 365 and Google Apps are Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, IaaS allows for complex computing and processing in the cloud. Moving operations to an IaaS provider means that business doesn’t stop. So even if employees can’t get into the office or if the power is cut off due to a blizzard, processing still happens as computation occurs in the cloud, on the IaaS provider’s servers.

Benefits of IaaS Providers Such as AWS or Azure

  • Database Operations

Business Intelligence requires information that is captured and compiled in databases. Tracking customer information, organizing vendors, and forecasting sales can all be done with a database (or for some companies multiple databases). IaaS providers offer database support which allows businesses to operate their database operations in the cloud.

With IaaS, users have control over where their data is replicated. For example with AWS, users can choose to operate their database from an Amazon Data Center in the Boston area, with replication in Florida – so that even if a massive storm wipes out most of the Boston area – their database is still running in its replication site in Florida (which historically almost never gets snow!).

  • Ecommerce Operations

Even if a major storm stops New England in its tracks, customers from other parts of the country still expect to be able to conduct business with your company. If your business specializes in ecommerce or traditional commerce but with an online component, you’ll want to make sure that these operations continue regardless of if employees are in the office or the building has power. Running ecommerce operations with an IaaS provider means that dollars can still be exchanged and monitored.

  • Data Storage

Besides providing powerful computing capabilities, IaaS providers allow businesses to host enterprise content and data in the cloud. AWS and Azure have multiple storage options that are scalable and specific to certain data needs. With IaaS data storage, your folders, files, and other items are always available in the cloud. So even if your employees are stuck at home or if the office loses power – anyone can access work related files as long as they have power and an active internet connection.

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