Note: Running Fridays in FromGregsHead.com, is a continuing series of tips brought to you by Greg Price. These run Sunday evenings during the BusinessMaker’s Radio Show on KPRC 950AM. Audio files can be found on the PKF Texas – Entrepreneur’s Playbook® page of the PKF Texas website.
Technology buyers today have more choices than ever before. Hardware and software can be purchased, leased or rented. Software can deployed "on-premise" or accessed "on demand" using cloud computing offerings, where you pay a monthly fee for software access.
In spite of the trend toward cloud computing, many companies are still buying servers and software to run their business. In fact, most businesses will deploy one or more servers in-house for needs which are not effectively met by in-cloud services.
Before you go out and buy your own servers, consider your options. A server purchase requires an upfront investment, but over the course of several years, you may meet your business objectives much more effectively by buying servers and software vs. using cloud computing.
When you use cloud computing, you’re also usually limited to standard options. Extensive software customizations are normally installed on your own server. For example, if you want store documents among your team "in the cloud" using Microsoft SharePoint Online that’s easy. But if you want to customize SharePoint extensively, or use it as your external website, a traditional on premise SharePoint implementation is going to be the right choice for you.
Is your best option to own servers?
Beyond the costs of the hardware itself, be sure to factor in how equipped you are to respond readily to server needs. When email or other critical business applications go down, someone needs to be available to diagnose and fix the problem. It’s wonderful to have a wealth of options. Just be aware of the price tag and capabilities that come with each option.