Full-Cloud: Fact or Fiction?

Some small businesses are kicking technology to the curb. Sort of.

A movement is underfoot to dismiss space-hogging servers and temperamental desktops in favor of a full-cloud offering where everyday business systems are virtualized.

Here’s how full-cloud works. A thin client (basically a dummy terminal) or other device uses the Internet to connect you to your company’s entire IT infrastructure—servers, data, email, business tools and applications. Everything is stored in highly secure data centers, designed as fortresses even Chuck Norris couldn’t crack (more on this a bit later).

If all this sounds a bit like science fiction, it isn’t. 3Points has helped several companies make the leap to full-cloud. One in particular, Destra Capital Management, is featured in this issue. According to company president James Yount, he’s never looked back.

Let’s see how traditional technology compares with full-cloud…

Sound familiar? All your tech stuff is on-site, vulnerable to fire, power outages, natural disasters, negligence and theft. You purchased the equipment, which is an added line item on your P&L. As computers and servers sit in your office, problems that can’t be solved remotely demand a 3Points technician. As technology matures, equipment needs replacement. When software reaches end-of-life, there’s another version lined up just waiting for installation.

Now imagine a far less cost of ownership. With full-cloud, you don’t have to buy desktop computers or servers, so if anything happens to your office, your information isn’t there to lose. Instead, it’s sitting safely in two separate data centers, one on each coast, that are SAS 70 compliant with biometric hand scanners and backup generators fueled by natural gas. Cold air comes up through the floor. An intricate maze of pipes keeps the temperature crisp. Highly pressurized, clean water is on hand in case of fire. Robotic arms load and unload tapes in a tape library.

Below are five reasons why some small business leaders are embracing full-cloud computing.

Flexibility and Productivity

Going full-cloud centralizes your business infrastructure. Employees and clients with access rights can work at 3 a.m. just as easily as 3 p.m. on any device with an Internet connection. Cloud computing cultivates greater productivity.

Lower Cost of Ownership

Instead of owning equipment, you invest in what matters to you most. Since everything is in the cloud, the set-up on the ground calls for thin client technology. Thin clients don’t think, they connect. The actual “thinking” or processing is stored in the cloud. (Yes, the term “thin client” is borrowed from society’s obsession with physique. Fat client technology is a computer that handles more processes, thus it takes on more weight.)

Lower Risk

Power outages and disasters can’t touch a full-cloud infrastructure. 3Points has fielded many calls from frantic business owners over the years because of building fires, theft, water damage, and even mold infestation. These issues are moot when you go full-cloud since all the important data is offsite.

Easier Maintenance

With a full-cloud offering, you don’t need a technician schlepping into your office on a regular basis. There are no physical systems to maintain on-site. Customers pay a flat monthly fee to access end-to-end technology. The Network Operations Center (NOC) at 3Points addresses issues on demand.

Not For Everyone, But It Is For Many

Full-cloud is not for everyone. Big advocates include: professional services, accounting, nonprofit, investment and financial, trades like plumbing or electrical, transportation, and construction. Why? They impose less demand on the network, follow strict security protocol and are data-focused. Manufacturing companies with machinery like CNC machines or robotic technology connected to a main network typically don’t have enough bandwidth to go full-cloud. Same for verticals like bakeries, research facilities and laboratories—any establishment that uses a lot of equipment and data.


NEXT ISSUE: Learn more about the best bandwidth and devices for going full-cloud in the summer 2015 3Pointer.