Running your company in the cloud without any servers isn’t just a dream of the future--it’s happening right now. InterSys Consulting’s CEO, JR Carter, spoke with me about how his entire company runs without a single server.
Curt-I’m interested in what you’re doing because you have your whole company in the cloud. What does your company do and what do you really excel at compared to everyone else?
JR-InterSys Consulting is the leading provider of data warehousing and business intelligence solutions in the Texas market. We were on the Inc 500 list in 2010 for our first year and we’ll be on it again this year. As we’ve grown, we have typically used software-as-a-service (SaaS) type solutions from the beginning. We don’t even have a server here today—all of our IT is in the cloud. We’ve tried to run a very lean operation and keep our employee number low. Each time we get to a capacity point, we analyze how we can incorporate outsourcing or automated software into what we do and that has worked well for us. Subscribing to SaaS or using the cloud in business operations has felt like the right way to go.
Curt-Do you think that’s hard for older companies that already have established infrastructure? How old is your company by the way?
JR-Our company was established in 1993. The need for a robust set of internal systems didn’t present itself until 2005. It was a small partnership prior to that time.
Curt-Did you get rid of servers to move to the cloud?
JR-Yes, we had a file server that we got rid of and went with the DropBox Team instead. Change is always hard, but the reasons for not changing aren’t always based on technology.
Curt-People get used to doing their job a certain way. Have there been any disadvantages to using the DropBox Team compared to the previous method of using a file server in-house?
JR-Not really. There are only advantages. We’re often not in the office but rather at a client site and employees need to access files on more than one device. For example, I have an iPad, an iPhone, a laptop and a computer in my office. Using DropBox, it’s easier because it doesn’t matter what device I’m on to access my files. I can get to everything I need for the company and all my personal documents as well. As a mid-sized company, it’s actually better security and better back-up than what we were doing previously.
Curt-Is DropBox also your back-up solution?
JR-Right now, we have the ability to back-up our PC’s. But if they’re in the cloud anyway, do we really need to back them up? DropBox is doing the back-up for us, so the answer is no.
Curt-People seem hesitant about security in the cloud, especially larger firms. I don’t see the National Security Agency or CIA using DropBox anytime soon. But the cloud is a great option for smaller companies. I assume your company has different concerns than a company the size of the NSA?
JR-It depends. If someone wants to get a hold of our employee data and we were in violation, that would be just as catastrophic to us as it would be to the NSA. But then again, the NSA is more important than we are. I’m also chairman of ESO Solutions.
Curt-What does ESO Solutions sell?
JR-ESO Solutions sells electronic patient records software along with other products and services.
Stay tuned to see what JR has to say about other great SaaS products in part 2 of this interview!
CURT FINCH has more than two decades of software development and distributed workforce management experience. In 1997, Curt created the world's first internet-based timesheet application and the foundation for the current Journyx product offering. Curt has a B.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. His book, All Your Money, is available on Amazon. @curtfinch