Cloud blog part two – Cloud downtime: Keeping the business going

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When subscribing to a cloud service, there are several key aspects to take into account to minimise disruption in case the service goes down.

The first one is to identify which of your software applications are most critical to your business. Look at the top three, five, or even 10 applications, and keep asking yourself: “What would we do if it stopped working?” until you arrive at a satisfactory answer. In some cases, the answer may be that the application is just too critical to be moved into the cloud and you would be better off sticking with an in-house system.

Let’s imagine you run a retail shop with a few point-of-sale (POS) units. It’s likely these units communicate in real time with a backend server located either in the cloud or at your head office. If the network goes down, your options depend on exactly where is the point of failure is.

If the failure arises from a network issue, a backup Internet connection can keep your shop up and running. It the server is down, you may require a store redundancy server to ensure continuity of service. You don’t want your customers to go to your competitor next door and find out that they provide a better shopping experience than yours!

A potential solution can be found in constrained services. Constrained services refer to often low-tech solutions, such as having a paper docket in the drawer to write an order manually and a folder containing product codes and prices. Of course, for a POS terminal it may also be OK for some functionality to remain temporarily unavailable, such as seeing the status of stock in other stores, maintenance management or lay-by processing.

 

No cloud is the same
In my experience, with many small and medium-sized businesses, there is no single solution when it comes to cloud services.

Every business has different needs and views on which applications are the most critical, so it is important to find the infrastructure that is most suitable for you.

Cloud applications may be great for some business applications – for others, an in-house system may be the only option. Between these two extremes, there is a multitude of scenarios that need to be carefully assessed to ensure your business continuity.

Paul Goepfert
Marketing Manager, Pronto Software

Paul Goepfert

Paul Goepfert

Paul Goepfert is the Marketing Manager for ERP vendor Pronto Software. @PaulGoepfert

1 Comment

  • Stephen Duncan

    I agree. No two business situations are going to be the same. I think people need to be diligent when making decisions like moving their systems to the ‘cloud’. Especially seeing as the cloud can mean different things to different vendors. At the moment commoditised, point specific, functionality such as personal data storage is trending well in the cloud, but businesses can’t be easily commoditised. As stated they have specific critical failure points that need to be considered and properly managed.

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