Written by Steve Ross
Multifaceted and multifunctional, the cloud is in almost every workplace – but how does it actually help… and does your business need it?
A small business’ IT network is a precious resource – the last thing you want to do with yours is waste it. But with so much emphasis placed on integrating the cloud with your organisation’s network, you’d be forgiven for wondering if it’s really worth the time, effort and expense… In other words, do you really need the cloud?
SME IT budgets are stretched: data storage, servers, devices and internet connections all add up – along with maintenance and repair costs. Can the cloud help you save money?
Bear in mind, while many cloud services are free, providers charge for their premium products and platform subscriptions. You’ll also need a robust internet connection to take advantage of the cost-saving benefits the cloud offers.
Does your team work together on client projects? Need to connect to your network while travelling or out of the office? Ideally, your IT infrastructure should make work tasks flexible and more efficient – the cloud offers ways to achieve this:
While the cloud liberates your employees virtually and physically, connectivity – or the lack thereof – may also be a curse: if your internet drops, so does your access to the cloud.
Worried about your clients’ data? Sick of fighting viruses and malware? Every business owner should be concerned about protecting their network but the cloud represents a new way of thinking about security.
The cloud isn’t a security ‘magic bullet’: you’ll be moving your data off-site – essentially out of your complete control – so it’s important you understand and trust your provider’s security measures. Your passwords and login information remain vital to securing your account
We’ve laid out the major benefits of cloud computing, but that doesn’t mean you should jump in headfirst: there are important factors to consider, not least connection speed, security and cost. Fortunately, there are so many cloud products available you should be able to find a solution to fit your business needs: that might mean only a partial, ‘hybrid’ migration to the cloud – with some business processes still handled on-site by your own network.
The cloud landscape changes constantly and rapidly: services become cheaper, more flexible and more innovative every day. If the cloud wasn’t right for you before, it may very well be now – or sometime very soon.
Still undecided on the cloud? Struggling to navigate your company’s migration? Contact us today for help and advice…