In the past, cloud-based solutions were seen as synonyms for managed infrastructure services and flexibility, while ‘on-premise IT’ was associated with having to manage everything internally with internal resources. Thankfully, this is no longer the case – and hybrid edge IT solutions play a key role in this development. An optimal hybrid edge IT platform is Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub in combination with the Konica Minolta Marketplace. This means that companies no longer have to decide whether to go to the cloud or stay on-premise. They simply use the advantages of both worlds.
Where are company data best stored and processed – in the cloud or on-premise? This outdated question is still concerning many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with regards to their IT infrastructure while they weigh up the advantages of both approaches:
Advantages of a cloud approach:
Advantages of an on-premise approach:
Fortunately, there is no either/or. Use the advantages of both approaches und take a third option: a hybrid edge IT platform.
Advantages of a hybrid edge IT platform:
The flexibility such edge computing platforms provide is highly valuable, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, as their IT today needs to meet a multitude of requirements – and will have to do this even more so in the future.
“Long loading times kill productivity, as do unreliable connectivity and unavailable data.”
Edge solutions process data on-site, close to where they are produced – reducing latencies, improving and speeding up processes. This may be particularly relevant in rural areas, for example, where many small and medium-sized businesses are located. Internet connection speeds may even be limited for businesses, and large data transfers can hence eat up valuable time. Using cloud-only systems can become the single point of failure when the internet connection is interrupted or bandwidth is insufficient or even worse, the server is down. An edge solution can here act as a local cache, stepping in for the server in the cloud for an extensive amount of time. It can either keep bandwidth available for other purposes, e.g. internet traffic for employees or customers or allow the systems to run until the connection to the cloud is re-established. In both cases, the internet traffic can be batched, i.e. bundled and sent during the night or early morning, when more bandwidth is available.
As a small business, DuoBad focusses all of its resources on delivering exceptional products and customer service. This means, however, that its IT infrastructure was never in the centre of too much attention in the company’s daily business. With Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub Advanced, they have exactly the IT tools and support they need to succeed in this endeavour.
The digital age poses a variety of challenges to companies of all sizes, from securing sensitive data to maintaining state-of-the-art-IT, while technological possibilities enlarge, as well.
Even with a strong network infrastructure, the sheer amount of data created, for example by the increasing number of IoT devices found in companies today, sets limits to the external processing of data. This is particularly true for SMEs, as their processes increasingly rely on generating value from processed data: be it in their production processes, quality assurance, research and development, customer service, contract management and so on. However, a local IT infrastructure generally has limited computing power. Or otherwise becomes overwhelmingly expensive. So, the connection to cloud-based services is an attractive option. With a hybrid cloud-connected edge IT solution, the benefits of both can be combined: the relevant data are pre-processed locally and then sent to the cloud for deeper analysis. Here, a larger amount of computing resources can be allocated in a short period of time that would not be available with local infrastructure only.
The selective data handling approach is also crucial when it comes to data protection and data security. Sensitive data can remain and be processed locally on an edge IT platform. The same goes for customer information falling under GDPR legislation in Europe. Here, companies avoid storing such data with cloud solution providers that use servers outside the European Union, as this may entail legal issues, or make processes more complicated.
An automated data and backup management by a hybrid edge IT solution ensures that data are regularly and reliably secured. So data is never lost in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake, a fire or flood.
Particularly SMEs suffer from limited IT personnel, aggravated by the current skilled labour shortage in IT. They need proper working IT systems that support them in their daily business in order to maintain their competitiveness. IT needs to stay cost-effective and remain both flexible and scalable. Software requirements in a company may change within a matter of weeks or data storage and computing power requirements can fluctuate depending on workflows, seasonal business effects, order volumes, and so on. As every company has its own specific requirements, SMEs need to find the right partner, who reliably takes care of these requirements, deploys the ideal setup and relieves SMEs.
With its all-in-one platform Workplace Hub together with its Marketplace, Konica Minolta offers you the optimal hybrid edge IT platform. It brings together the IT infrastructure needs of your business with the access to software and services you require with a simple and transparent management tool. Konica Minolta tailor Workplace Hub to your needs, adapting it to your specific requirements. The solutions implemented in Workplace Hub extend the on-premise functionalities to the cloud, processing specific data externally if required.
Based on a thorough analysis you receive a clear recommendation. We evaluate your existing network infrastructure, bandwidth, data usage and access requirements to deliver the best-fitting set-up for your individual situation. Whatever the choice might be - data are stored either on premise or on our highly secured servers in Europe in order to ensure GDPR compliance at all times.
With regard to security, Workplace Hub also has a high level of built-in data security. Thanks to a partnership with Sophos, our security services include the XG-Firewall.
It is also a gateway to and access point for a wide range of IT services that Konica Minolta can manage for its customers – be it their IT security, automated backup management or application monitoring – all supported via Konica Minoltas Help Desk if assistance is required. This ensures smooth operation of IT systems and helps to quickly resolve issues that arise, while at the same time freeing up internal IT experts from such arduous and repetitive tasks.
As Marketplace is an integral part of Workplace Hub, the internal IT team has a powerful platform for managing and easily implementing new applications. Konica Minolta ensures the compatibility of these solutions with the system as well as regular updates. Licences are also managed via Marketplace, providing an up-to-date overview at all times and control over access and costs. To deliver the cost efficiency and flexibility SMEs need, Konica Minolta only charges for services, capacities and applications actually used.
Durand Eroles Castagnet relies on a server to manage their database and accounts, and two printers to process orders. A recent fire destroyed part of the business including their server and printers.
With Workplace Hub, all of Durand Eroles Castagnet’s data and applications are automatically backed-up to Konica Minolta’s
local data centre. This meant key Information was easily transferred onto a temporary server, enabling Durand Eroles Castagnet to continue operating with minimal interruption.
Providing a huge amount of computing resources
Selective data handling where useful (cloud or on-premise)
No lost of data in an event of a disaster
Fast access and no interruptions even when Internet bandwidth is bad
Guaranteed data protection due to GDPR
Frees up internal IT resources
Where are company data best stored and processed – in the cloud or on-premise? This thankfully outdated dichotomy is still shaping the discussion when it comes to managing IT infrastructure in companies, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
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