14th November 2014 by GCI

Cloud Computing with GCI

Cloud computing may seem like a relatively new concept and although its origins are still widely debated, the idea is thought to date as far back as the 1960’s. J.C.R Licklider who played an instrumental part in the development of APARNET, envisioned IT in the form of a global network and framed it as a form of public utility, with some of the first uses including the processing of financial transactions and census data.


Fast-forward to present and a recent Citrix Cloud survey discovered that up to 75% of UK-based organisations are using cloud computing, with the UK government predicting a 20% saving on ICT provisions since migrating to the cloud. However, what exactly makes cloud computing so cost efficient?

The use of internet technologies for storing data, ease of management, exempt hardware, and a decrease in installation and maintenance costs are all a strong business case for the use of hosted services. No matter what their size, many worldwide organisations are using the cloud, with Manchester Business School and Rackspace Hosting survey discovering that it’s saving UK businesses average £255,000 a year, reducing IT costs by a huge 18%. Hosted services are remotely managed and have dedicated cloud hosting that keeps everything available in secure and resilient data centres. Once engineering, firewalls and network security are considered, it is realistic to state that businesses may not be able to supply this themselves in a cost efficient way.

With a number of solutions available in the cloud, 58 per cent say that cloud computing has reduced the need for an IT team to maintain infrastructure giving time to focus on strategy and innovation within their business. A Hosted Desktop solution changes the way businesses consume their IT, from a one off purchase of a hardware device with an inbuilt operating system, to a subscription based service that will increase the average revenue per user and create reliable reoccurring revenue. Businesses can attract healthy margins with rapid deployment times and benefit cashflow from monthly billing, whilst unusual or bespoke applications can be packaged to work in the Hosted Desktop environment. In conjunction with this, users can benefit from a consistent up-to-date online service. Like what you’re hearing?

GCI offer a host of bespoke Cloud Solutions, including Hosted Desktop, Hosted Lync and Hosted Exchange. Whilst Hosted Desktop provides a fully integrated service, and provides a greener Virtual Desktop solution helping businesses move away from the expense and hassle of managing complex on-site servers or devices, Hosted Lync and Hosted Exchange allow flexible working and a host of unified communications. Microsoft Lync 2013 delivers streamlined communications for the users in any business, so they can find and communicate with the right person, right now, and Hosted Exchange offers an enterprise grade messaging service that will provide Hosted e-mail and full business collaboration services. The reductions of costs aside, a recent Microsoft survey also showed that 94 per cent of businesses saw an improvement in security switching to cloud, and 75% said network availability improved.

With 90% of businesses estimated to be in the Cloud by 2015, it is evident that the benefits of Cloud Computing are vast. To find out more about how Cloud can help your business, speak to a member of the GCI team today.