The Cloud is ubiquitous with the 21st century; it’s the technology that powers social media and streaming services (like Netflix and Amazon Prime); it gets name dropped in TV shows and films – normally at the expense of older generations who don’t understand it – and while it may be difficult to visualise, it’s effects can be seen everywhere, such as in business.
More and more businesses are making a ‘move to the Cloud’, which is another way of saying that they are getting rid of their servers and other network hardware, in favour of storing their data in the Cloud. London IT support companies nowadays often specialise in helping businesses do this; and we spoke with one of them about why businesses should consider it. TechQuarters, who are based in London, and have specialised in the Cloud for more than a decade, gave us a rundown of why SMBs (small to medium sized businesses) should consider making the move to the Cloud.
1. Saving Costs
Cloud services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services provide the physical infrastructures needed to run a Cloud, and businesses can simply pay to access the Cloud. Before the Cloud, businesses would need to invest in and build their own infrastructures, so the Cloud represents a way in which businesses can save money on hardware.
2. Saving Time
By centralising resources such as apps, files and data, businesses can streamline the way they can communicate and collaborate internally, thus saving time. Cloud infrastructures also make it much easier to roll out new software across an organisation. It can also make training much quicker.
3. Better Cyber Security
Unlike many hosting solutions for data, the Cloud encrypts data at rest and in transit, making it a much more secure solution. As a future-proof solution, Cloud datacentres are in an almost perpetual state of evolution . With the rate at which technology progresses, Cloud service providers are constantly implementing new technologies and protocols to improve the security of their infrastructures, and businesses paying for those services get the benefits.
4. More Data Insights
A centralised Cloud environment is very good for linking and gathering data from multiple sources – such as applications, emails, social media, search engines, etc. Centralising all that data makes it much easier to analyse and gain insights from, which is critical for making accurate business decisions.
5. Better Data Recovery
By using a Cloud infrastructure, a business can insulate themselves against the risk of data loss that is inherent with many hosting solutions. Physical servers and local storage is much more susceptible to error and damage. Whereas Cloud Service Providers invest a lot of effort in making their datacentres as reliable as possible – for instance, they often use Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID) to ensure that customer data is not susceptible to loss.
The company we spoke with, TechQuarters, provide managed IT services London businesses have been relying on for many years now. In order to provide a service with such longevity, scalability is an essential quality. Cloud services are inherently very scalable. Service providers ensure that their resources are in excess of the demand from their customers; and they usually operate via a pay-as-you-go model. In other words, when a business grows, and therefore need to use more Cloud resources, those resources are already setup and available – they just need to pay a bit more to access them.
7. Better Collaboration
There are lots of modern business tools powered by the Cloud that enhance collaboration. An example of this would be Microsoft Teams – a Cloud-based unified communications platform. Apps like OneDrive and SharePoint (also from Microsoft) make file sharing easier, because multiple users can share and work on a single version of a file. Even the Office apps, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, have much better integration and collaborative feature now that they are Cloud-based.