The server is down, we have work to do, so now what do we do?
Google Server Error
The one business aspect that, in our opinion, that is seemingly lost on all of the “promising” new Cloud Services initiatives is the loss of productivity when things do not work as they should.
Or: Quickbooks Online goes offline for several hours (Feb. 3, 2009 Webware Article).
Or, how about this one: TechCrunch: Google Privacy Blunder Shares Your Docs Without Permission.
When the server is down, any company employee impacted by the service outage can cost that company hundreds of dollars an hour or more to sit idle waiting for things to come back online.
If a Cloud Service server is compromised or an error is made, as in the Google example, consideration of the possible ramifications to the business if its data gets out to competitors is important.
As a business owner, we need to ask the difficult questions before jumping in on anything new.
One of the questions to ask is, “how much does it cost my business for every minute of Cloud service downtime?”
In the case of QuickBooks Online, what happens if the service goes offline just before we need to generate our payroll?
Short of a dedicated and managed fibre link at a business site, which is prohibitively expensive here in Canada, what happens if the ISP connection goes down for an extended period of time?
The difficult questions always have to do with balancing the risks with the rewards.
For us, it means having a good understanding of our client’s business needs along with the value they place on their daily productivity and data security among other business process requirements.
With this understanding we can go through all of the options with our client or potential client to help them understand and weigh the risks and rewards to any in-house, hybrid, or Cloud Services based solution.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book
*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac!