One of the biggest buzz phrases in IT circles for the past few years has been cloud computing. Therefore, it’s surprising that some business owners are still not quite sure what it means and how much it can benefit them. While the term can give the impression of releasing control over your data as it disappears into the atmosphere, the opposite is true.
Using ‘the cloud’ can make your operations more secure, more accessible, and can even be more affordable than a traditional ‘on-site’ solution. So, it’s not surprising that the advantages of remotely storing information are widely recognised. At all times, your data and software platforms remain under your control, and the way they are configured and the amount of ‘cloud’ involvement is totally customisable in many different so-called ‘hybrid’ formats.
At a basic level, cloud computing refers to the remote storage of data on servers that are not located at your business premise. Cloud software allows access via a web browser across a wide range of different devices, meaning there is a great degree of flexibility in terms of how you can organise your workflow and day-to-day practises. This ‘anywhere and anytime’ approach can free up employees to become far more productive away from a desk-bound role, while Microsoft handles all the responsibilities surrounding maintenance and security. This allows a comprehensive approach to collaboration and communication at all levels.
With data security being such a high priority for all businesses today, the safety aspects of cloud systems are one of their biggest selling points. The remote data centres have measures that are beyond the affordability of most businesses, which means that your information is more secure than if it was held on premises in most cases.
Whereas installing a new hardware system of upgraded servers, and the associated software, might take quite some time, cloud-based software is deployed over the internet and is much quicker to get up and running as a result. It also means that you can benefit from IT that is largely worry-free and you won’t be having to rely on dedicated in-house staff or costly third-party specialists, as cloud software is hosted for you as part of your chosen package. Your cloud service provider will look after all upgrades and compatibility issues.
One of the biggest business headaches when it comes to IT issues is the unpredictability of costs. An unexpected but necessary upgrade to either software or hardware used on premises might suddenly come out of the blue for many reasons. However, with a cloud solution, the outlays are easier to budget for using fixed monthly payments to cover licences and upgrades, as well as usually offering support and back-up extras. Energy costs can also be reduced as power-hungry servers are no longer needed on-premise, which can lead to a significant reduction in utility bills.
If you’d like to find out more about how joining the cloud computing revolution can bring advantages to your business, contact us today for further details.