Never fear the cloud

On site data centers and even common servers are being replaced with cloud based hosted solutions. Exchange servers especially are very quickly moving out of the office and made a hosted providers problem to up-keep and manage. This creates a few distinct advantages for the IT team.

First, frees up time for other tasks. Managing a server farm takes away from conducting other more innovative or productive tasks that your IT team could be working on which simply slows down production and typically isn’t a favorite tedious task of the team as it is. Selecting a managed partner with strong Service Level Agreement terms with regards to updating, up-time, security, and ticketing response rates positions you well to be a very productive IT force for your organization.

Second, cloud based solutions are more difficult for your cyber adversaries to identify and compromise. If your IT environment is compromised, however the majority of your services are hosted off site, and there are strong security implementations in place to protect the connection from user to services, then you have effectively limited the scope of exposure to that adversary.

Lastly, customer service relied on as quality assurance. Using moving the exchange server to a 365 managed provider as an example, makes managing user emails and cloud accounts as easy as picking up the phone and requesting changes be made, rather than tasking out your staff to make the changes. This is advantageous in that these providers manage the same tasks all day every day, and thus are experts and most productive in making configuration changes and implementing consistent patches and updates. It is these professionals’ jobs to suggest and implement best practices that speed up user productivity and ease of access. Features that could have otherwise been unnoticed or under utilized due to lack of experience with that service or server.

The largest argument against the cloud is that with the server off prem, IT professionals lose the ability to manage all services in house. Many security professionals see this as an advantage however. There are no limits to capabilities by moving to a hosted solution, however it does limit who has physical access to the server. The designated IT professional still has full abilities to make configuration changes, and create policies and procedures governed by the IT steering committee, however the actual technical changes are made by an expert who focuses on this area of IT all day everyday.

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