The Cloud - what you need to know for your business

 

Everyone seems to be doing it but us?

A recent study by Intuit (makers of QuickBooks) found that among small businesses the adoption rate of some form of cloud technology is now as 64%, up from the 37% last year – that’s huge, so why are people using ‘the cloud’ and what can it do for your business?

Firstly, among those 64% of businesses using ‘cloud’ technologies that doesn’t mean that they run their whole business in the cloud, it could just be their accounting system, email, file-storage or CRM – or combinations of the above. This is the most common type of scenario we see amongst our clients as they can choose the parts of their business that it is right for them (with expert guidance from us!) to use cloud technology for – this approach is called a hybrid cloud. 

So, what are the main benefits to using cloud based technologies in your business?

OpEx costs – most business love the fact that you end up with a per user / per month cost. There is no big CapEx outlay, you are always up-to-date with the software and budgeting just got a whole lot easier! 

Disaster Recovery – We are not saying we use the cloud, I’m safe, I don’t need a backup – you still need those. However if disaster strikes it is much simpler to carry on working on those systems that are cloud based, if you’ve thought through what you need to do to leverage that power in your Business Continuity Plan!

Flexibility – Generally most cloud technology providers have a very flexible way to scale up (or down) their products which is great for business that have seasonal variations in demand, or just makes the continued expansion of any business so much simpler.

Work from anywhere with increased collaboration – So many cloud based systems now make collaborating on documents so easy, whether you are sitting with your team in the office or are hundreds of miles apart, and when you are on those business trips - business as usual is so easy. 

Security – Most people start their cloud conversations with us with this. Our answer is usually along the lines of “Your server is less secure here. It’s not in a dedicated data centre environment, have backup power or continuously replicated elsewhere. It’s more prone to damage from fire, theft flooding or human mishaps than it is in the cloud.”

Do we still think it’s unsecure? You should of course do your due diligence on what measures potential cloud providers take with your data, and agree that they suit your business and regulatory compliance requirements - something we are often asked for help with. 

There are many other benefits, and possible downsides depending on your business. The only way to see if it’s right for you is to make sure you evaluate the solutions fully, engage with your IT provider at the early stages and use them to help you find out if it’s right for you.

As IT Support providers, we have usually an unbiased view - in the middle of you and the cloud technology provider.

If you need to get your business started on your journey to the cloud then call us on 01323 287828.