Having satellite offices can be a challenge for even well-staffed IT Departments. They must balance the needs of local workers with larger corporate goals around IT spending. And if your company has offices in multiple time zones, supporting your workers takes on an additional dimension of complexity as your IT department must extend their support hours.
With dispersed offices, IT support must stretch beyond an 8-hour day. Consider the following: what happens if you manage a central email server at your headquarters in New York and it crashes at 6pm Eastern Time, but you don’t have any IT staff to fix it until the morning? Depending on your industry, your New York office might notice a negligible amount of downtime; however, your Seattle office could lose 2-3 hours of productivity from loss of working email and still not be able to do anything until several hours into the next day. This could lead to a loss of email access for 12-15 hours, which can be the difference between landing, or keeping, an account and losing it.
You need to solve for these issues, but running servers in each office could require hiring a lot of extra IT staff. Not to mention the costs of additional equipment, extra office space for a second server closet, and all of the additional costs of maintaining servers on premises. There are many ways to solve for this issue, but the easiest and most efficient is likely to be moving your IT services to a cloud-hosted system.
Moving IT services to the cloud offers a wealth of advantages over on-premises solutions. A cloud solution provider can give you a level of service reliability and security that is far greater than what you can achieve with an on-premises solution without a significant cost.
With centralized user management program, cloud IT services make it much easier to manage the onboarding and offboarding of employees without having to direct access to hardware. A few clicks of the mouse can be all it takes to provision a new user for all the business services he or she needs. You might not even need to maintain a large IT staff at your regional offices. Just someone to help users with laptop or printer issues now and then.
The key to making a successful move to the cloud is choosing the right provider. The wrong choice can prove costly and painful.
To save the most money, you’ll want to consolidate as many services you can under one vendor. Having one vendor also means one relationship to manage, one bill, one support number to call and one service/user management interface to deal with.
In many cases, bundling services will get you better pricing. For even more cost savings, find a vendor that offers per user/per month pricing. You’ll have a fixed monthly cost for easier budgeting and you won’t have to worry about staying under thresholds for data storage or calling minutes.
Other features/services you’ll want to look for include 24/7 technical support and expert onboarding and migration at no extra charge. If email or phones go down at 6pm Eastern, you won’t have to wait until morning to get help. And if the cloud provider handles onboarding and migration for you, you’ll save money and reduce the likelihood of migration errors and data loss that can come from having to use a third-party vendor for the process.