No matter what industry our clients are in, we tend to see the same issues pop-up across Maltese companies; difficulties with growth, cross-departmental transparency, reducing manual or repetitive tasks, figuring out how to spend time and resources intelligently, understanding data in real-time to make decisions that are founded on facts and logic and knowing what is coming next.
Regardless of how large your organisation is, your biggest frustrations generally come from the systems you rely on day in and day out. If your tools provide poor reporting, then you’ll lack the information to make the right decisions. If your systems are slow and cumbersome, you’ll spend a good chunk of your time staring at a screen and cursing the name of your IT guys. If you put yourself in charge of your infrastructure, there’s a good chance you’re going to be spending some time sitting next to it and trying to figure out why it’s not working.
IT Solutions for Small and Medium Businesses
Let’s face it – most of the Maltese economy is made up of small and medium businesses. Today, companies have limited options to run their small or medium businesses. The choices usually come down to; physical servers, company-purchased cloud servers, software-as-a-service cloud solutions that include built-in servers or a combination of these options.
Many business owners start conversations with our team with a firm belief that a dedicated cloud or physical company server is the best option for them to ensure that their company data is secure. As we explain further, however, they uncover the truth: Cloud-based solutions with a shared server provide the best value for security.
Cloud-based Solutions vs Physical Servers
Imagine you are travelling to a foreign country. Would you be safer staying in a tent on the side of a road or in a hotel with a doorman? I am going to assume that while you may enjoy an adventure, you agree that the safer bet would be the hotel with someone actively keeping you safe should the unlikely need arise. Not to mention the other experiential benefits of a hotel: a concierge service and daily cleaning services, which we can compare to expert consultants and automatic backups. At a hotel, you share the costs of infrastructure and security with the other guests, much like you would on a shared server. It’s the perfect example of “strength in numbers.”
The reality is that while people think they can have more control over their own IT when it is in-house, the reality is that you tend to have very little support. You are in a tent alone without support or backup and exposed to the elements. A third-party cloud system offers the security and safety of having a backup plan, specialists to deal with and prevent problems, strong surveillance and firewalls for legacy systems (their reputation is based on delivering their products), controlled access that is harder to access than physical servers, scheduled updates and upgrades, and auditing. All this is included in your annual or monthly fees, with no investment or work from your company required.
Looking to the Future with the Cloud
I remember specifically sitting with a potential customer, and they were defending the need for a dedicated physical server on-premise. I asked him to show it to me, and we walked over to the supply closet (which functioned as both a server and a janitor’s closet). I saw their brooms, cleaning supplies and mop, which had been placed next to a bucket instead of inside of it, leaving small puddles of water. Over to the right, next to the water, was the server humming away. I asked them, “Who takes home your backups? How often do you have to update the server? When was the last time you cleaned the server? Why is there a dead intern in here?” After a conversation of 10 minutes which had started with “How is your broom closet more secure than an IT bank-level security?” my potential customer turned into a customer who was excited to migrate to a cloud solution.
The cloud is the norm today – we’re helping businesses get there and redefine how they work. What are you waiting for — the tent to get a leak?