The world of technology is a veritable breeding ground for buzzwords, and one of the most talked about is “The Cloud”. As a business owner or manager you’ve heard of the cloud but you may still be a little unsure as to what it can do for your company. So how can you cut through the hype and ensure that cloud computing is the right for you?
What does the cloud actually do?
Cloud computing’s main selling point is that it gives businesses with limited storage and financial resources the ability to do more, for less money. You’ll be able to store far more data, reduce your overheads and take advantage of more advanced technology solutions – all without having to purchase additional hardware or software.
It sounds like every small or medium-sized business’s dream come true, but as an SMB owner or decision-maker, what do you need to know about cloud computing?
First of all, you are probably already utilizing the cloud
You may think you haven’t migrated any of your IT environment to the cloud, but we’d be willing to bet you’re already using it in some shape or form. Does does your company use Gmail or Office365? These are cloud-based email platforms. Do you store documents using an online storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox? You may even share your company’s updates with followers via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Yes, you guessed it – they’re all based in the cloud.
To put it into context, look at using Word on a desktop versus Word Online. When writing a document in Word Online, changes are saved in real time, and anyone with the shared link can view and edit the post – even while you are still working on it. If you were writing using Word on a desktop, you would have to periodically save the document manually so that changes were not lost, and if you wanted anyone else to edit it you would have to email it to them, and wait for them to make the changes and then send it back.
And that’s one of the greatest benefits to smaller organizations – the ability to boost productivity and encourage collaboration through real-time access to your company’s files and documents.
Migrating your IT to the cloud makes sense financially
You’re already using cloud computing to a greater degree than you thought, but Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive are either free or charge a nominal amount to business users. How do you know if transferring the rest of your organization’s IT is going to be economically viable? After all, you already own a server and the software that you use to keep your company up and running. But hardware and software have a finite lifespan; they will need replacing at some point and, in the meantime, require regular upgrades and maintenance. Hardware and software are not things you can buy once and forget about; they require constant, expensive attention – and that’s not even taking into account the cost of fixing issues or the cost of electricity.
Compare that to cloud computing, where you can use multiple servers, software and applications that are owned and maintained by a service provider. You enjoy far more resources, minus the costs and headaches.
Enjoy greater flexibility with the cloud
The great thing about the cloud is that your data is always accessible even if your network crashes or your devices are lost, stolen or damaged. And that accessibility extends to any device and any location. Whether you’re in a restaurant in Tampa on your iPhone, or you’re mid-air somewhere between London and New York and using your iPad, providing you have an internet-enabled device and online access, you’ll be able to retrieve documents and use applications.
How safe is the cloud?
Security breaches have been in the news almost every day. The good news is that the cloud is a more secure and reliable environment than a server for storing data. However, it is not infallible – especially when it comes to employees who use personal devices to access data stored in the cloud. They are prone to cause data loss or security breaches if their smartphone, laptop or tablet isn’t protected from malware, or if their devices are stolen. Therefore, if you are planning on migrating to the cloud, it is critical to implement a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy.
If you are considering moving to the cloud, IT Authorities will bring you far greater peace of mind, as we offer 24×7 technical support that guarantees issues are taken care of the minute when they happen. We provide you with reliable, productivity-enhancing cloud services and secure cloud-based backup solutions that make migrating to the cloud a no-brainer.
Contact us today to schedule your free cloud consultation and let us help you find the right solution for your business.