TECH INSIGHTS: Doing More and Spending Less with Cloud Computing

Joe Howland, Chief Information Security Officer, VC3

The information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice and may no longer be accurate due to changes in the law. Consult NHMA's legal services or your municipal attorney.

What if you could pay only for what you need when you want it? That’d be pretty nice, right? That’s the power cloud computing can bring to your organization.

Technical Definition

Cloud computing utilizes off-site third-party resources to deliver computing services like applications, servers, and storage.

But, What Is Cloud Computing?

Think of your favorite entertainment streaming service, like Netflix. Remember what it was like before Netflix? You either needed to own individual movies or go to Blockbuster to rent them.

What’s it like now? You stream thousands of movies and tv shows whenever you want.

The old way of watching movies (owning hard copies of them) is a lot like on-premise computing services. You own your servers and purchase the key operational software you need to use. This setup requires office space for the servers and someone to install and manage the servers. Also, you may only use 25-50% of the full power of that server. This method can be inefficient in time and cost.

The alternative is cloud computing. And it’s a lot like using Netflix. Replace the on-site server with cloud servers that you access through the internet.

What are the benefits?

Efficient Spending

You may only need a fraction of the power your server or servers can provide. So why buy 100% of something when you maybe only need 40%? Cloud computing allows you to buy what you need and use it when you need it. Sometimes, you can even save money by shutting down machines at night or other times of inactivity.

Predictable Budgeting

Instead of purchasing, installing, managing, and fixing your servers, you gain access to cloud servers for a monthly cost. This moves your IT costs from a difficult to plan for capital expense to a manageable, budget-friendly operational expense.

Greater Access

Because you’re using the internet instead of an on-site server, you can access your files and applications anywhere you have an internet connection. This is incredibly helpful for offices with remote employees or satellite locations.

Improved Flexibility

Without the burden of physical hardware, leveraging the cloud allows you to scale up and down based on employee count with ease. Get more licenses for key software, increase data storage, and more thorough digital replication.

Better Support

Onsite maintenance is no longer needed. Your internal IT staff or your IT partner is now able to perform routine maintenance, update software, and patch a greater number of servers faster. Cloud computing can also be helpful when it comes to cybersecurity. Your IT partner can deploy security measures faster and at greater breadth.


Cloud computing is to Netflix as on-premise computing is to your DVD library.

About VC3

Joe Howland is Chief Information Security Officer for VC3.  VC3 is a leading managed services provider focused on municipal government. Founded in 1994 with offices across the east coast, VC3 forms partnerships with municipalities to achieve their technology goals and harness their data. In addition to providing comprehensive managed IT solutions, VC3 offers cybersecurity, website design, custom application development, and business intelligence services. Visit to learn more.