Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) can benefit a great deal from Cloud-based services but this does not mean they have to do away with their existing infrastructure.

On the contrary, careful planning, a thorough understanding of what the business and infrastructure needs are, and applying GFI’s newly announced Hybrid Approach to the decision making process can give businesses the ‘best of both worlds’ and help them save money in the process.

According to GFI-commissioned research, just over half of SMBs in the US use one or more hosted/managed services. Fifty-six percent said they used these services because of easy Internet access and scalability while 46% pointed to the lower costs involved. Faster deployment (43%) was also a key consideration. However, taking the plunge also depended on hosted providers giving assurances on application performance, lack of data privacy/security and systems failure/redundancy (62%). Just under half (47%) said customization of the services was a high concern.

The dilemma for many SMBs is how to reap the benefits of Cloud computing without dismantling their existing infrastructure or dealing with the inherent risks that come with Cloud-based services. The dilemma is deciding which delivery model is best. The answer often is a mix of both, depending in the infrastructure needs of the business at the time.

“Customers and partners are looking at the flexibility of the software delivery model as they need to quickly adapt to changing economies and market influences. The model we are proposing is that customers can have Cloud product offerings work with their existing on-premise software to give them the benefits of both. The beauty of this approach is that start-ups can get down to business with relative ease and lower costs while established companies can address weaknesses and inefficiencies in their current set-up by using a complementary service in the Cloud,” GFI’s CEO Walter Scott explains.

GFI’s Hybrid Approach addresses many concerns SMBs may have because it gives them the ability to choose the solution they need to protect their network, email server and/or manage their archives, irrespective of whether it is hosted or on premise. Sometimes, they may require a combination of both.

The Hybrid Approach allows an SMB to switch back and forth between the Cloud and on-premise solutions with relative ease or adopt a set-up that has both, thereby maximizing the strengths of both delivery models and avoiding the inefficiencies inherent if separate delivery models were used. SMBs also benefit from defense-in-depth, business continuity and redundancy – not always a given with the non-hybrid delivery model.

Being able to choose between delivery models and at the same time also benefit from quality solutions that are cost-effective and designed for the SMBs is one very good reason why SMBs should actively explore the hybrid approach.
For more information about GFI’s Hybrid Approach read the following White Paper: http://www.gfi.com/whitepapers/Hybrid_Technology.pdf.