Five advantages of Cloud Computing that will make you want to switch
Cloud Computing may no longer be the new kid on the block in IT circles but it’s not as mainstream as you might think; in fact, a recent Eurostat report shows that in 2016 65% of UK Enterprises had yet to migrate to the Cloud. The standout reason for this, according to the same report, was insufficient knowledge of Cloud adoption in order to make the decision to move - a concern shared by almost all verticals.
17 July 2017
“The Cloud” is everywhere and even if your business has not yet migrated, you are probably using some form of Cloud Computing in your day-to-day life. For instance, if you are signing into internet services such as your Amazon or Netflix account, you’re using the social media platform’s Cloud services to do so. Additionally, many web-based email providers use the Cloud, such as Microsoft’s Live Mail services. So what are the benefits of Cloud Computing that make such huge businesses adopt this way of working?
By far the biggest of the Cloud Computing advantages is the flexibility and scalability it offers – even to a point where some standard on-premise solutions just can’t compete. In the case of those web-based services I mentioned earlier it’s absolutely critical – they need to be able to scale upwards quickly and easily to ensure a continuous, undisrupted service. For those of us who don’t work for global conglomerates this still translates to the real world, as the Cloud allows straightforward scaling up and down as your needs change. For example, should your number of users or data storage capacity change, you can easily adapt to meet these needs in a way that would be more time-consuming and require more financial investment if your infrastructure isn’t Cloud-based.
An additional benefit of the Cloud is the ability to offer employees remote access to company data, which can help increase productivity, collaboration, and provide your staff with flexible working options. Don’t underestimate the importance of that last point – one survey says that, given a choice of two similar jobs, 90% of people would pick the job that offers flexible working. Cloud adoption allows you to provide this – whether they are working from home, another office or customer site, if you’re Cloud-based your employees can access software, apps and data from anywhere they have an internet connection.
Ease of use
Another one of the benefits of Cloud is how much simpler it is to manage, as your IT partner will do most of the work for you. Software updates are not only done automatically but can be implemented much more quickly by your Cloud Services Provider than if you had to roll them out to individual, physical devices. This is particularly useful in the case of security threats; emergency patching can be issued to millions of users at once to help negate the threat.Cloud providers will also take responsibility for the day-to-day running of your platform, software or storage, leaving you to concentrate on your key business goals. For instance, when our customers Crescent Yamaha needed their on-premise infrastructure upgrading, they chose our Infrastructure as a Service platform. Based on our own Private Cloud, the service negates the need for specialist technical staff to operate and manage their infrastructure. Paul Denning from Crescent Yamaha commented: “We can focus on the important business of winning races, safe in the knowledge that our IT is being handled by experts.”
Offers a competitive edge
It can be argued that the benefits of Cloud Computing apply to SMEs the most, as it not only gives them access to Enterprise-grade technology like never before but with your IT partner taking the management and maintenance of your Cloud services off your hands, your in-house IT staff are free to focus on more strategic projects. In fact, in a 2015 survey by 451 Research and Microsoft, over 50% of respondents stated that the ability to grow the business and adding functionalities that weren’t currently achievable in-house were their primary reasons for Cloud adoption.
Business Continuity is another factor that can offer businesses an edge over their competitors. Should a disaster occur - whether physical like fire or flood, or virtual such as a virus – the ability to return to normal operations is essential. Backing up your data to the Cloud allows you to retrieve it quickly and with a much higher retrieval point than for companies with a traditional on-premise IT infrastructure.
It’s natural to worry about security in the Cloud – when it’s out of your control you can’t always be certain that your Cloud Services Provider’s policies will meet your own rigorous standards. However, whilst some fly-by-night providers might have a lax approach to security, with a reputable IT partner there is actually a higher level of security in the Cloud, largely due to strict ISO security criteria. GCI’s Cloud Private platform complies with ISO9001 and ISO27001 standards as well as the underlying infrastructure being housed in Vodafone’s Tier 3 datacentres, which offer a whole host of security and resilience benefits - Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS), fingerprint access and 24/7 CCTV to name but a few.
The advantages of Cloud Computing previously mentioned are all important, but for many cost is a factor that must be taken into consideration. In fact, the Cloud is often cheaper than its on-premise equivalent, as it eliminates the capital expenditure associated with IT maintenance and upgrades, as these are costs that your Cloud Service Provider will incur – no more need to spend thousands on servers with a limited lifespan. It also removes the need for highly-specialist staff to keep your infrastructure running, as again these are costs that your IT partner will shoulder. And because of the scalable nature of Cloud services you only pay for what you use, whether it’s per-GB storage or the number of user licenses.
So why Cloud Computing? The benefits of Cloud are clear to see. It’s cheaper, more flexible, and can even help you grow your business. For a complimentary consultation, simply get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.