By Rob Hannam, CEO
More data is being collected and stored today than ever before, especially in agriculture. That’s why many of today’s businesses and organizations are increasingly turning to cloud hosting services to host and manage their software applications and data. Many have made the shift, but for some, it’s a big step outside of the on-premise servers or applications they rely on.
All this data requires a robust, secure and up to date system to prevent data loss, provide anywhere access for users and, in some cases, help the organization comply with data privacy regulations. Switching to cloud hosting platforms is increasingly becoming the best choice for most businesses and organizations.
First, what is cloud hosting?
At one time, on-premise software – installed on a company’s own servers and behind its firewall – was the only option for businesses and organizations to store and manage their data and information. I had an on-premise server at our office when I launched my first business in 2009. I vividly remember the challenges of keeping the software up to date to ward off cyber threats and having to rush into the office and reboot the server following power outages. I also remember having to buy and install more memory in the server every time our business grew and on top of all that, having to manage daily backups.
Like many, we made the switch to cloud hosted servers for all of our data storage and management and never looked back. The ability to upload information from any device in real time leads the appeal of cloud platforms for many agri-businesses. For others, it’s the cost savings, cyber security, uptime reliability and flexibility that offers the most appeal when compared to on-premise solutions.
Farm Health Guardian for example, uses the Microsoft Azure cloud-based system, one of the most trusted, advanced platforms available.
Why choose the cloud?
Farm Health Guardian takes cloud cyber security seriously. Data privacy security is our number one priority for our customers. Cloud platform providers like Microsoft Azure are more secure than on-premises solutions because it has a collection of technologies, services, controls, and practices designed to protect cloud data, applications, and infrastructure from cyber threats and attacks. Cloud providers offer multi-layered security that include access control systems, continual threat monitoring and encryption for data in transit and at rest among other benefits.
Cloud hosting platforms help businesses and organizations to simplify their IT needs. On-premise systems require in-house server hardware, software licenses, integration capabilities, a server room and IT experts on call to support and manage issues that may arise. I can’t really imagine how our businesses would keep up with the changing cyber threats, need to provide easy but secure access for employees and customers and just to manage all of the data we deal with today using the on-premise machines of only a decade ago.
Technology needs for agriculture businesses are always changing whether you are growing in size, adding new applications and databases or switching software. Most cloud providers include large amounts of storage in their base subscriptions. They offer extreme flexibility to increase or decrease server space (depending on number of customers and needs of the business) or spin up new instance* whenever you need. Cloud-based offers peace of mind, knowing cloud hosting platforms provide better security features, greater reliability and scalability and simplicity compared to on-premise solutions. For me, the cloud just makes sense for today’s agri-businesses and organizations.
Questions about Farm Health Guardian or our commitment to data security? Contact us.
* An instance is a virtual server within the cloud. A new instance (server) can be created for a specific purpose or for specific data and will keep the new data in a ‘physically’ separate space from other data. A new server can be created within a few hours, whereas with an on-premise server we would need to buy member chips and add those into our server box a few times a year as we grow.