Why Go Serverless?
Should your business go serverless? The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no.” This article is the first of a 3-part series that will tell you everything you need to know about going serverless.
Traditionally, businesses have housed their tech stack and files on a physical server. Over the last decade or so, advances in cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) have made it possible to take what was once a stored physical server and put it on a cloud server. This is now currently viewed as best practice for a host of reasons. At the top of the list is the ability to eliminate physical servers. It requires far less maintenance – patching, upkeep, security, warranty, and monitoring are no longer required. There is also no need to replace devices every 5 to 10 years, which businesses would have to do as a matter of necessity to maintain a physical server.
If you are preparing to make the transition to serverless, there are 2 pieces to consider: The firm’s files/data and the firm’s tech stack (applications, printers, databases, etc.).
With remote work on the rise in a post-Covid world, being able to access files from anywhere is vital. While it is possible to access files on a physical server remotely using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), using a content management system (CMS) such as SharePoint, Laserfiche, Worldox, et. al, provides more flexibility. The VPN to physical server method can typically only be done on a laptop on which the IT department has configured access, while a CMS can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device.
Another benefit of using an online content management system is the additional organizational functionality. These platforms can enable users to tag files for quicker searching, as well as track version history, online real time collaboration, external sharing and creating granular permissions.
These systems also contain major security enhancements, which allow you to log access and see who has viewed, downloaded, or edited a file. This detail (which was previously logged in the background) is now transparent to the user. Furthermore, the tech team would not be able to easily spot a mistake or suspicious activity in a traditional file browser environment.
Moving from a physical server to a cloud-based one requires some careful consideration in terms of migration: it is not just about lifting what you have from the server to the cloud, but also about embracing the new applications.
Accounting is a great example. Rather than just moving the in-house QuickBooks to a private hosted server (a “lift and shift”), consider moving to QuickBooks online, Microsoft Business Central, Sage Intacct, or NetSuite. Single Sign On (SSO) can also be added – one set of user credentials to access all software, from accounting to investment tools.
At the end of the day, eliminating your physical server is a business decision and should be approached with careful thought and consideration. At InfoGrate, we can guide you through this process, from the analysis to the decision, and then through the search and implementation. If you think going serverless might be the right decision for you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for our next article in our serverless series, which will cover the costs and benefits of making the change.