Why Your A/E Firm Should Look to the Cloud – Part 3: Maintenance

Posted by Jeremiah Mcnicholas on February 12, 2014

cloud

Blog Series: Five Reasons Why Your A/E Firm Should Look to the Cloud

This is the 3rd in a 5 part series. To read Part 2 click here.

Download full whitepaper Five Reasons Your A&E Firm Should Look to the Cloud

Part 3: Zero Maintenance

There are a number of great reasons to use the cloud including streamlined setup,enhanced security, zero maintenance, improved performance, and a proven disaster recovery plan. Over the next few weeks we’ll explore each of these benefits in great detail. This week, we will discuss how the cloud can eliminate the time and expense necessary to maintain your firm’s software.

Before we begin, let’s explore some computing history to uncover why hardware and software maintenance is necessary. As we have seen in our lifetime, information technology is constantly evolving, but others have tracked this trend much more closely. In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every 18 to 24 months. He hypothesized that this progression would continue indefinitely. This means that the processing power of the average computer will double roughly every two years. To this day his prediction has proven to be true and has since become known as Moore’s Law. This law is used today to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development in the technology industry.

Consider how long you have had your server hardware. Following Moore’s Law, we can assume that if it is two years old, it is already running at half the capacity of a server purchased for the same price today. If it is four years old, it is running at a quarter the capacity. To ensure this exponential obsolescence does not negatively impact the business, many IT departments create a hardware replacement schedule that follows Moore’s Law. This usually results in replacing computer hardware every two to four years. Obviously this situation would be ideal, but can you imagine replacing your server hardware this often? It can become a major expense that restricts cash flow and impedes firm growth. Ignoring this maintenance responsibility can have an equally negative impact on productivity.

Of course, the hardware will only do what the software commands it to do. As computer hardware improves, software must evolve to leverage new technology. If software did not advance to take advantage of new technologies, hardware improvements would have no meaning. Software evolution like this will typically result in performance improvements as well as added functionality that would have never been possible without new technology. Providing these performance improvements and added functionality to your team can help streamline workflows and improve overall work quality. Trying to accomplish this without the cloud comes with a steep price tag.

Software updates are not just for new features and performance gains. They are also released to patch newly discovered security holes. Without a consistent software update schedule your information could be left insecure. Potential vulnerabilities presented by using out-of-date software make updating to the latest version vitally important. While ensuring you are up-to-date can be time consuming, falling too far behind could put your business at risk. Many cloud offerings include automatic software updates to ensure your firm does not face potential security risks.

Unfortunately, with an on premise solution, the burden of replacing old hardware and updating old software falls firmly on your shoulders, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The exponential advances in hardware and software technology have also paved the way for the cloud. With your firm’s software on the cloud, hardware replacement is unnecessary and software updates are typically handled for you. Just like setup and security, hardware and software maintenance may be better left to the IT experts. Many AE firms struggle to keep up with just software updates, much less Moore’s law. Choosing to move your on premise software solution to the cloud will eliminate the need for costly and time consuming maintenance efforts, leaving you with more time and resources to devote to your business.

Click here to proceed to part 4 in series.

Download full whitepaper Five Reasons Your A&E Firm Should Look to the Cloud

For more information about the Ajera Cloud click here.