How to Know When Your Small Business Needs a Server

Of course, you might tell me, your business already has a server. And you might be referring to that old PC in the corner of your office. It’s too old to run your business day-to-day, but you figure it’s good enough to share your files and backups. Maybe you even have a nickname for it. In most cases, that old beige PC runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’ve got news for you. That’s not a server!

A normal PC is not supposed to run all the time. The components are not always top of the line, so they might end up giving up the ghost if the PC is left on 24/7. There’s no redundancy built in, which means that if something goes wrong, you just might end up losing all your documents, not to mention important email messages from your clients.

A real server, on the other hand, is a machine that is built for reliability. You can leave it on all the time. It’s performant, it’s redundant, it runs multiple disk drives and it will allow you to swap components without having to shut it down. Try doing that on your PC! And, on top of all the hardware? You’ll find an OS that is designed to act as a server, like Microsoft Small Business Server, instead of the usual Windows 7 or Windows 10.

You might think that your small business doesn’t need a server. You’d argue that your business is too small and your PC solution works just fine. Well, a server will make your business even more efficient! If your office has more than 4 or 5 PCs, you would actually benefit from adding a server to your infrastructure. Get help deciding whether your new server should be on-premises or in the cloud.

A question of security

As we previously mentioned, not only does a server offer redundancy and make your environment more compliant to a data recovery plan, it’s also more secure than a peer-to-peer network, where PCs are doing most of the work without the support from a central data point. Here’s what a server can do for your business:

  • Consolidate your storage and resources
  • Increase your security and reliability
  • Organize your email, contacts, calendars and backups
  • Manages viruses and spam

You’ll see a massive difference in time saved and efficiency measures, since all your data is accessible in a faster, easier way. You’ll also have a central point to share information with multiple people and multiple devices. A server also affects your clients’ day to day operations. Your customer relationships will be improved, because you’ll be able to get back to clients more quickly and effectively. You’ll deliver better service and improve your customer retention.

Cloud users can focus on their business

When it’s time to implement a server, you have 2 options: buy the hardware and install it on premises, in your office, OR choose a cloud solution that hosts all your servers and equipment in the cloud.

It’s a recurring question: Cloud servers vs. In-house. Which is the best solution for you? A few minutes ago, you weren’t even sure you wanted a server!
In a nutshell, an on-premises server means you need to manage most of the infrastructure, and invest a lot of your own time and money. You own the machine. On the other hand, when you choose a cloud server, it’s sort of like outsourcing your hardware. You pay a fee, but you don’t have to think about updates, installation or maintaining the hardware. You don’t even have to think about where you’ll put it and the A/C cost!

Businesses who choose the cloud can also make more money. According to Microsoft, 63% of SMBs who use cloud solutions expect their sales to increase compared with 49% who don’t. Why? Because cloud solutions allow you to focus on your business. You can spend more time and resources pursuing new clients, marketing your work and less time managing hardware, maintenance and other IT-related issues.

On-premises vs. cloud servers? It’s a tough call. To help you make the right decision, give us a call 904.236.4328.

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