Plain talking around the cloud

Plain talking around the cloud

Instead of wondering ‘can my business afford to move to the cloud’, ask yourself this – will your business be at a disadvantage if it doesn’t grasp the benefits that come from using cloud services?

It’s a seismic shift from the way businesses traditionally viewed IT resources but cloud computing services offer transformational opportunities to organisations.

The word cloud has been floating around the business scene for several years now, but some are still unsure what ‘the cloud’ means.

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more – over the internet, to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.

It’s a resource that can then be accessed from anywhere in the world, at any time, and divided to be used however needed.

Rather than having your own physical machines to maintain, providers can deliver the resource remotely, taking care of maintenance and management too.

Cloud also includes on-demand computing services like applications that help you manage your business operations. You’re probably doing that already in everyday life perhaps without even realising it – you use cloud computing when you check your bank balance on your phone or update your Facebook status.

You typically only pay for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale up or down as your business needs change.

There’s a huge range of options when it comes to cloud hosting and if you are considering cloud for your business, the best thing to do is to seek the guidance of a trusted provider to help you make the right choice. You can’t beat a face-to-face conversation to help map the right route for your business.

There’s no need to move all services to the cloud in one go but consider the various options around making the right transitions for your organisation.

Ensuring your company has the right cloud solutions in place has become nothing less than imperative. The cloud has transformed the way that companies of all sizes store, process and deliver data.

As I’ve said before, and will continue to stress, in a digital age it’s critical to make the most of the technological changes and developments that can provide incredible opportunities for your business.

There are lots of reasons you should be considering the cloud, but here’s my summary of the key considerations that give cloud its ‘clout’.

Cost - Cloud computing is easy to set up and manage and cuts the cost of hardware. When you shift to cloud computing, you will only pay for the services procured. Providers charge cloud computing services based the features, storage, number of users, time, and memory space among other factors so you can choose a package that suits your budget and save money.

Scalability and flexibility - Cloud-based services are ideal for scaling up and down as the needs of your business change. Employees can complete work at home or from the field - you just need a fast internet connection to get real time updates of all operations.

Disaster recovery - Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that cash and expertise, this isn’t always the case. Cloud helps more organisations buck that trend. According to research, small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoiding large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.

Increased collaboration- Teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time.

Automatic updates - As cloud computing servers are off-premise, suppliers take care of them and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – leaving you free to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.

Security - Cloud computing gives you greater security because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. You can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops, so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Competitiveness - This is technology for everyone. It allows smaller businesses to act just as fast as their big, established competitors, and compete in the same markets.