In essence 'the cloud' is just an easy to digest term used to describe products and services which are accesible to customers via the medium of the internet.
The growth of this has been driven by the widespread rollout of affordable, fast and reliable internet connectivity throughout the UK, which is essential if your organisation is going to rely on accesing services or files stored in 'the cloud'.
Forward thinking businesses from startups to global enterprises are embracing this technology to make their businesses more streamlined and to add value.
What are Cloud Services?
Benefits to SME's
The features and benefits vary depending upon the cloud product that you buy, however the most common are indicated below.
With most cloud services you pay monthly for the quantity of units that you actually need to use, which can fluctuate up and down monthly. Importantly as you are buying a hosted service the provider is responsible for all of the infrastructure required to make it work ... you just pay your subscription.
Backups / Disaster Recovery
With cloud hosted systems the provider has an obligation to manage disaster recovery.
In other words if the hardware fails then there's normally one or several standby servers which will automatically 'kick in' so you don't become affected.
In addition some systems will include automated backups or deleted data retention.
This varys depending upon the hosted product you are buying but in theory it does mean that you don't have to worry about this. However, you are trusting a third party so we would advise talking to us so you understand and accept the risks.
Most hosted applications just need you to have your device and an internet connection.
This provides a flexible approach to working without the need to implement remote worker solutions on your network.
Always Have The Latest Version
Software which is hosted in the cloud is often known as "Software As A Service".
As you are buying a service you are entitled to use the latest version of the product, which is a big selling point of Office 365. This means that you avoid the often high cost of upgrading your computers software versions (as cost include product licenses and project labour) and the disruption to your staffs productivity is eliminated.
No Capital Expenditure
Products like Office 365 Essentials and Business Premium include a hosted version of Microsoft's email server system (called Exchange). Before hosted email was available organisations had to commit to a significant cap-ex to cover the cost of buying a suitable server + software licenses + backup upgrades to cope with the additional data and then they had to pay for an IT company to install and maintain it.
Whilst the business benefits were (and still are) significant for the SME marketplace such one off costs are difficult to afford, making hosted cloud email the obvious choice for most SME's.
Want to know more?
Despite the benefits of Cloud Services, Hosted Applications and Software As A Service the decision to use them should be considered carefully as some products may not be right for all organisations and your existing infrastructure does need to be suitable.
A conversation with us is Totally FREE so we would be delighted to hear from you to discuss your needs and simply offer honest advice leading to you making a more informed decision about the next steps.
Next Step . . .
Contact us today for a no obligation chat about your business needs ... we look forward to hearing from you.
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