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Cloud Gazing

Shedding light on how businesses can leverage the cloud

In simple terms, Schaefer reiterates that cloud-based services allow companies to spend more time on their operations and less time managing computer hardware and accessories.

And for businesses in growth mode, the cloud gives management the ability to react more quickly to expansion needs for more services or storage capacity at a much faster rate.

In addition, the cloud can provide a much more stable power supply, which means an internet connection with far fewer interruptions. This is always welcome news to users—especially those dealing in perishable goods—as cloud services are not hardwired into buildings and subject to weather incidents, structural damage, or other issues related to building maintenance or unexpected events.

The prospect of securing these types of advantages and more convinced grower-shipper Interfresh, Inc., headquartered in Orange, CA, to make the transition to cloud computing ten years ago.

“We had PCs at everyone’s desk that required constant updating, we had to make big capital outlays (for equipment) every three years, and we made tape backups and took them to the bank every day,” recalls Interfresh president, Chris Puentes.

By contrast, today’s operations are no longer dominated by hardware or hard-copy backups. “Cloud computing gave us everything we had hoped for,” Puentes says.

While ridding crowded offices of bulky equipment is a major draw, the flexibility offered by cloud computing is the more powerful incentive. Not only can companies easily increase or decrease services and capacity, but such changes require little or no downtime.

Irvine, CA-based Zumasys, Inc. offers business solutions, including cloud services, to more than 150 agriculture-related customers.

President Paul Giobbi confirms that relocating data and applications from hardware to the cloud is much easier than it used to be. “Creating or bridging a customer’s network using a virtual private network (VPN),” he explains, is not a difficult undertaking. “You can do it today with zero downtime.”

Moving Forward and Up
Although there may be legitimate reasons for keeping a local server on your premises, moving to the cloud is still a compelling option—and it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing scenario.