“Cloud” has been around for some time. We’ve all heard of it, even if we don’t fully understand what it means, we most certainly all use it every day. It connects our smartphones, laptop’s, servers, TVs, and even our washing machines together allowing us to lead easier, more connected lives. In recent years Cloud offerings have reached the level of maturity that has led to most self-respecting large enterprises to move their IT infrastructure entirely into the Cloud. The same is yet to be said about Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). If your business falls into this category, here’s why we think your business should follow the lead and consider migrating some of your services into the Cloud.
1) Cost Efficiency
There are many reasons why Cloud is cheaper: the most obvious of them is that cloud providers are able to benefit from huge economies of scale and thus be able to offer more computing power at a lower cost. Furthermore, subscribers have the ability to pay only for what is being used and only when those services are required, services can be added and removed on a rolling basis. In this way, IT expenditure can be matched with that period’s income on the balance sheet.
Modern operating systems and software packages are designed with Cloud in mind. Take Windows Server 2012 for example, designed to be deployable both in the data centre and on premise, Microsoft fully embraced the trend to move to the Cloud. Both Microsoft and non-Microsoft software designed to work with Server 2012 follows this model in order to remain well integrated and up to date. The resulting mix of technologies makes for a common platform with which to manage services, data, management, identity and development.
It’s easier to allocate IT resources to an operating expenditure rather than a capital expenditure budget. At a time when the funds for capital projects are not always there, this can be a crucial reason for not investing heavily in IT equipment. Such a move will make it easier to control expenditure, as companies will be able to plan much more accurately.
One of the hardest IT challenges facing businesses is how to cope with peaks and troughs of demand, for example due to seasonal fluctuations. Before Cloud, businesses would have to prepare the infrastructure to cope with peak traffic, even if that meant over-provisioning for the majority of the year. Relying on a cloud-based infrastructure means that organisations are able to cope with these changes with greater flexibility. Businesses can also rapidly expand their existing infrastructure to cope with organic and sudden growth of the business, as a result of new services, employees and increasing data volumes.
5) User Control
One of the most significant trends in the past decade has been the way that business decision makers are looking to bring their own devices (BYOD) to the workplace, thus by-passing their IT departments. This is a trend that has caused much consternation in IT departments as system administrators try to cope with the security and compliance headaches that such an approach brings to an organisation. The most sensible approach to this problem is to implement seamless cross-cloud authentication, also known as Single Sign On (SSO). IT can use SSO as a single environment to manage user accounts and credentials across a multitude of devices, networks and user experiences.
6) Low Maintenance
Several studies have shown that those responsible for IT spend a large part of their day maintaining and troubleshooting software, leaving very little time for any strategic planning. With the software maintained at a higher level in the Cloud, this leaves those employees free to fulfil their other responsibilities within the business.
The time taken to commission, implement and configure services has historically been measured in weeks. Using a Cloud provider, a business could get services up and running within a matter of hours.
Cloud providers boast much faster and more reliable connections to the Internet than your average business Internet service provider. As a result, accessibility to services in the Cloud by multiple users from multiple locations are significantly better, which has a direct impact on employee productivity.
The days of accessing company information from inside the office walls are long gone. In a modern organisation, employees and customers are accessing business data from a variety of devices locations.
Cloud is an integral part of this new model. It allows the flexibility to create ring-fenced services for a specific audience, adapt existing services to meet new needs and launch new services with very little forward planning.
9) Data Analysis
Cloud service providers generally offer integrated statistical analysis of service usage as standard. This circumvents the need for businesses to employ data analysis infrastructure of their own.
Cloud service providers are IT experts with a heavy focus on security, as such they offer higher levels of security with their own systems than can be found with on premise equipment. Many businesses are still concerned that data stored off site will be more susceptible to access from unwanted users, but the opposite is in fact true.
According to a survey by Microsoft, businesses who use Cloud spend, on average, 32 percent less time during the week managing security than those who don’t. And 35 percent of companies claim higher levels of security and spend less on fighting malware.
There are a multitude of business reasons to move to the Cloud. Not all reasons will be relevant for all businesses, but not one business can say they would not benefit in some way. The key roadblock for many business is the cost and planning involved in rolling out the migration while maintaining day to day business practices.
This is where Bristol Technology Group excels. Not only do we offer a Cloud platform flexible enough to mould to your specific business needs, we can also plan and deliver the Cloud rollout with you to ensure minimal impact to your business. Whether this calls for pre-configured equipment, delivered to your office site, ready for plug and play, or one of our expert engineers to work on site with your existing infrastructure and employees to oversee the migration. You can be sure we will come up with a solution tailored to you.