1 FREE REPORT: Answers To The Top 5 Questions Business Owners Have About Cloud Computing Discover What Most IT Consultants Don t Know, or Won t Tell You About Moving Your Company s Network To The Cloud By Charlie Stephens, Managing Director, Domain Digital Phone: (08)
2 A Letter From The Author: Why Did We Create This Report And Who Should Read It From The Desk of: Charlie Stephens Managing Director, Domain Digital Dear Colleague, Undoubtedly you ve heard all the commotion around cloud computing and how it s the next big thing. Yet, despite all the hype, no one really seems to understand what cloud computing is or how it can help your business. That s why we wanted to set the record straight and provide business owners and executives with a simple, easy to read report that explains what cloud computing is, how it can (possibly) help their business and, if it can help, what they need to know in order to make good decisions about choosing a cloud vendor. Why possibly? Because cloud computing is NOT a good fit for every company; and if you don t get all the facts or fully understand the pros and cons, you can end up making some VERY poor and expensive decisions that you ll deeply regret later. That said, for some clients, the Cloud can actually lower their IT costs, greatly improve the ability for remote workers to connect and work, simplify their entire IT infrastructure and genuinely solve a number of technology problems that business owners have been trying to work around for years. So can cloud computing help you? By the end of this report you ll know, or at least have a much better understanding. Of course, we are always available as a resource for a second opinion or quick question, so please feel free to contact my office direct if we can clarify any points made in this report or answer any questions you have. Dedicated to serving you,
3 About The Author Charlie Stephens got his first computer when he was nine years old. Not a big deal these days, but this was 1982, a time when computers were still a rare oddity Ever since, Charlie has been the the guy to make things work. The difference with you average computer guy is that Charlie likes IT for the business improvements and efficiency gains that can be realised leveraging technology. Not just using technology for the sake of it, but only if it makes business sense. After studying Information Science at Edith Cowan University, Charlie s first job was building computers at Perth PC manufacturer Comdek Computers. After doing this for a couple of years, he was introduced to the Internet and became employee number 6 at a then small Internet Service Provider called iinet. When he told his boss at Comdek he was moving to iinet, his response was The Internet is just a toy. It will never go anywhere. I think differently Charlie said and promptly made the move anyway. After iinet he worked at a large systems integrator called Dimension Data where he learned the professional methodologies required for implementing technology solutions in a corporate environment. This gave him the necessary knowledge to be a founding member of the start-up Chime Communications which provided the telecommunications license and infrastructure to iinet. After working for many years in the corporate sector, Charlie recognised two things: 1. Talking with friends and family, Charlie realised that their technology concerns were not dissimilar to that of large corporates just on a much smaller scale. 2. The technology concerns of small business are not just limited to only the IT systems, but also extend to processes and systems that help measure and optimise productivity. Charlie then looked for an entity that would enable him to cater to small business, consisting of 5 50 staff. This turned into what Domain Digital is today, an organisation that caters for the needs of small business, where Domain Digital can improve business practice, increase reliability and reduce business owners Information Communication and Technology stress. At Domain Digital, we pride ourselves on our staff who can relay technology concepts in a easy to understand manner, coupled with powerful feedback systems to capture and relay any work that is done in client networks. We believe that this is what makes Domain Digital your great technology ally.
4 5 Critical Questions You Must Have Answers To Before Moving To The Cloud In this report I m going to answer the top 5 questions that I ve heard just about every savvy business owner ask about cloud computing. I ll also provide an overview of what exactly cloud computing is and how it can possibly benefit your business. I ve also included some actual case studies from other businesses that have moved to cloud computing. At the end of this report there is an invitation for you to request a Free Cloud Readiness Assessment to determine if cloud computing is right for your particular business. I encourage you to take advantage of this before making any decisions since we ve designed it to take a hard look at the functionality and costs for you as a business and to provide you with the specific information you need (not hype) in order to make a good decision about this new technology. What Is Cloud Computing? Wikipedia defines cloud computing as the use and access of multiple server-based computational resources via a digital network (WAN, Internet connection using the World Wide Web, etc.). But seriously, what does that mean? The easiest way to not only understand what cloud computing is but also gain insight into why it s gaining in popularity is to compare it to the evolution of public utilities. For example, let s look at the evolution of electricity. Back in the industrial age, factories had to produce their own power in order to run machines that produced the hard goods they manufactured. Be it textiles or railroad spikes, using machines gave these companies enormous competitive advantages by producing more goods with fewer workers and in less time. For many years, the production of power was every bit as important to their company s success as the skill of their workers and quality of their products. Unfortunately, this put factories into TWO businesses: the business of producing their goods and the business of producing power. Then the concept of delivering power (electricity) as a utility was introduced by Thomas Edison when he developed a commercial-grade replacement for gas lighting and heating using centrally generated and distributed electricity. From there, as they say, the rest was history. The concept of electric current being generated in central power plants and delivered to factories as a utility caught on fast. This meant manufacturers no long had to be in the business of producing their own power. In fact, in a very short period of time, it became a competitive necessity for factories to take advantage of the lower cost option being offered by public utilities. Almost overnight, thousands of steam engines and electric generators were rendered obsolete and left to rust next to the factories they used to power.
5 What made this possible was a series of inventions and scientific breakthroughs but what drove the demand was pure economics. Utility companies were able to leverage economies of scale that single manufacturing plants simply couldn t match in output or in price. In fact, the price of power dropped so significantly that it quickly became affordable for not only factories but also for every single household in the country. Today, we are in a similar transformation following a similar course. The only difference is that instead of cheap and plentiful electricity, advancements in technology and Internet connectivity are driving down the costs of computing power. With cloud computing, businesses can pay for computing power like a utility without having the exorbitant costs of installing, hosting and supporting it. In fact, you are probably already experiencing the benefits of cloud computing in some way but hadn t realized it. Below are a number of cloud computing applications, also called SaaS or software as a service, that you might be using: Gmail, Hotmail or other free accounts Facebook NetSuite, Salesforce Constant Contact, Vision 6, Mail Chimp or other broadcasting services Zoomerang, SurveyMonkey and other survey tools LinkedIn Twitter All things Google (search, AdWords, maps, etc.) Microsoft Office 365 If you think about it, almost every single application you use today can be (or already is) being put in the cloud where you can access it and pay for it via your browser for a monthly fee or utility pricing. You don t purchase and install software but instead access it via an Internet browser. Answers To The Top 5 Questions Business Owners Have About Cloud Computing Question #1: What if my Internet connection goes down for an extended period of time? Our Answer: While this is a valid concern, we provide two options to overcome this issue: i. Upgrade your internet connection to Premium Business with guaranteed uptime ii. Provide failover internet links Question #2: I have heard that the internet can slow at different times of the day. How do you handle this? Our Answer: We resolve by ensuring that you have business grade connections that guarantee the throughput of your link (instead of residential grade links where everyone shares the resource). You also need to consider the speed of your upload (for getting documents to the Cloud) as well as your download.
6 Question #3: What about security? Isn t there a big risk of someone accessing my data if it s in the cloud? Our Answer: In many cases, cloud computing is a MORE secure way of accessing and storing data. Just because your server is onsite doesn t make it more secure; in fact, most small to medium businesses can t justify the cost of securing their network the way a cloud provider can. And most security breaches occur due to human error: one of your employees downloads a file that contains a virus, they don t use secure passwords, or they simply confidential information out to people who shouldn t see it. Other security breaches occur in on-site networks because the company didn t properly maintain their own in-house network with security updates, software patches, and up-to-date anti-virus software. That s a FAR more common way networks get compromised versus a cloud provider getting hacked. In addition, we can encrypt all data in the cloud environment to ensure your data is secure. Question #4: What if YOU go out of business? How do I get my data back? Our Answer: Despite the fact that we have been around for a long time, this is a valid question that must be asked. Companies that have been around a lot longer and were much larger have gone broke. As such, we give every client network documentation that clearly outlines where their data is and how they could get it back in the event of an emergency. This includes detailed information of emergency contact numbers, information on how to access your data and infrastructure without needing our assistance (although our plan is always to be there to support you), a copy of our insurance policy and information regarding your backups and licensing. In addition, we always recommend the additional step of a reverse backup that is moving the data from the cloud back to a location in your control to ensure you have ultimate control over your valuable information. We are also happy to share with you OUR disaster recovery plan that shows what we ve put in place to make sure we stay up and running. In fact, you should never hire ANY IT professional that won t give you that information. Question #5: Do I have to purchase new hardware (servers, workstations) to move to the cloud? Our Answer: No! That s one of the greatest benefits of cloud computing. It allows you to use older workstations, laptops and servers because the computing power is in the cloud. Not only does that allow you to keep and use your existing hardware longer, but it allows you to buy cheaper workstations and laptops because you don t need the expensive computing power that has been required in the past
7 Putting our money where our mouth is: We are not just talking about this and saying do as we say, not as we do. We are leveraging the the Cloud ourselves by using the following: 1. ERP Enterprise Resource Planning system (Which consists of Marketing, Client Management, Job Tracking, Purchasing and Invoicing) from a hosted Cloud based platform. 2. Our Remote Monitoring and Management system (How we proactively look after your computers is run from a Private Cloud and 3. All of our integrated system backups are sent to a cloud based backup provider. 4. and document management runs from Microsoft Office 365 So yes we are using the technology and have been for some time and whilst it will not be suitable for everyone, I would urge you to at least consider the option. A Final Word I hope you have found this guide helpful in shedding some light on cloud computing. As I stated in the opening of this report, my purpose in providing this information was to help you make an informed decision and avoid getting burned by firms who may not have considered all of the facts before offering these services. Below you will find information on how to request a FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment. This is, of course, provided for free with no obligations and no expectations on our part. I want to be clear that this is NOT a bait and switch offer or a trick to get you to buy something. My reputation for running an honest and trustworthy business is something I hold very dear. I would never jeopardise that in any way. So why are we offering something like this for free? Two reasons: 1. We are simply offering this service as a risk-free get to know us offer to people we haven t had the pleasure of doing business with. Again, our goal is to allow you to make an informed and confident decision; offering this service is one way we can help you better evaluate our services. 2. This will allow us to determine if we even CAN help you. Obviously we can t help everyone and cloud computing might not be a good fit for your particular circumstances. Conducting this Assessment enables us to perform a small service to you and give you a risk-free way of determining whether or not we re the right company for you without risking your money.
8 FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment As a prospective customer, we would like to offer you a FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment and cost analysis. This Assessment has three parts: 1. Cost Analysis And Inventory: Our first step is to look at what your current network consists of in hardware, licenses, data, and applications. Next, we compile an IT cost assessment to reveal what you spend in total on IT, including Internet connectivity, support and other fees. Most business owners have never really looked at their entire IT costs this way and often this report alone is an eye-opener. Why do we do this? Because our goal is to find ways we can significantly lower those costs while simplifying and improving your workflow. 2. Health Check: We will perform a 99 point audit of your entire network to look for potential problems, security loopholes, spyware and other hidden problems that you might not know about. Often we find faulty backups, out-of-date anti-virus software, faulty firewalls and missing security patches that, if left unaddressed, could end up costing you MORE in new hardware, support, business downtime and data loss. 3. Cloud Readiness: After we ve looked at the above areas, we then look at how you and your employees work and share information and see what applications or processes we can safely move to the cloud to improve ease of use and, of course, lower costs. When complete, we ll give you a Cloud Action Plan that shows you how we can save you money and resolve a number of work-arounds and problems you may have been experiencing to date. Even if you decide not to hire us, having a third party conduct this type of assessment will give you some good information on saving money and the security and health of your computer network. How To Request Your FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment: 1. Go to to make your request online 2. Call (08) to and ask for Charlie 3. Complete the fax back form to follow or 4. with Cloud Readiness in the subject line.
9 Fast Action Response Form: Yes! Please reserve a FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment in my name so I can find out what my options are, get answers to my questions and get a handle on the steps and costs involved. I understand that I m under NO obligation to do or buy anything by requesting this assessment. Please Complete and Fax Back or sign up online at Name: Title: Company: Address: City: State: Post Code Phone: Fax: Do you have any other questions or problems you would like to discuss? Simply outline them below: Fax This Form To: (08) Or Call: (08)
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