Scalability is one of the biggest advantages the cloud offers small to midsize businesses. With the cloud, SMBs can easily upscale or downscale their IT resources as needed.
Why would an SMB need a scalable IT infrastructure? Two major reasons include:
- Growth. Growth in the business means more staff and customers to track, and a greater demand for computing resources.
- Seasonal/Cyclical Demand. Many SMBs have changing computing needs based on the time of year. For example, Ecommerce businesses frequently see massive changes in demand during the holidays.
Benefits of using a scalable cloud solution over a traditional on-premise infrastructure include, but aren’t limited to:
1: Reduced Overall Capital and Operating Expenses
The resources needed to create and manage an in-house IT infrastructure aren’t cheap. To meet the demands of seasonal spikes in demand and of eventual growth, SMBs using an in-house infrastructure would have to overbuild to account for peak demand.
Not only does this add more up-front capital expenditures, the operating cost of managing these additional resources increase your operating costs—even in the months where the added capacity isn’t being put to use.
With the cloud, SMBs can scale up their resources in the months with high demand, and scale them back when things slow down again. Even better, there’s no need to buy expensive hardware, eliminating the largest up-front cost of IT management.
2: Faster Deployment When the Unexpected Happens
While most SMBs have a predictable level of demand for their IT systems, there are times where demand can unexpectedly spike.
With traditional IT infrastructure, responding to sudden increases in demand for computing resources is a slow process, often taking weeks. You have to:
- research vendors;
- compare bids;
- order different pieces of hardware/software;
- wait for delivery;
- assemble your computing solution;
- connect it to the network;
- stress test;
- add HVAC & power; and
- ensure you have the maintenance resources in place to handle it all.
By the time everything’s ready, the spike in demand is over and all that hardware might as well be so many paperweights.
With a scalable cloud service, the physical infrastructure needed to run your computing demands is already up and running at the cloud provider’s data center, all they have to do is kick it into gear and allocate resources on it via their hypervisor. A process that takes minutes, not months.
3: Greater Ease of IT Operation/Management
Managing an in-house IT infrastructure requires a lot of time and effort. Taking into account the need to plan for business growth and seasonal spikes in the demand for computing resources makes managing IT infrastructure implementation even more difficult.
Because secure clouds for SMBs are scalable, planning out your computing needs from one month to the next is much easier. Rather than having to plan for all of your possible computing needs for the next few years, you only need to account for the next month or so.
This means less time spent wondering how much infrastructure to add, and more time delivering tangible results for your business.
Overall, the scalability of the cloud helps SMBs save money, increase their IT responsiveness, and reduce the time and labor spent on planning out their infrastructure needs.