This is the first of three blogs where I explore the pros and cons of using cloud for your business.
Cloud is helping businesses of all sizes to reduce capital expenditure, improve reliability and efficiency, and reduce the risks of data loss. Hybrid solutions build on current working practices with the benefits of cloud.
Large organisations are increasingly moving to the cloud. 43% of enterprises think cloud providers’ service levels are significantly or somewhat better than their own IT departments, according to the 2017 Veeam Availability Report based on IT management in organisations with over 1,000 employees. The survey asked respondents what cloud services they currently used, and software-as-a-service came out on top, with 39% using it now.
But cloud storage and the plethora of apps available remains the best strategy for small and start-up businesses that need to keep their budget down, and struggle to retain in-house IT experts. Small businesses don’t need up-front investment to stay agile and compete with established business, and they can rest easy with back ups when disaster strikes or devices are misplaced or damaged. Cloud storage is also perfect to share huge, multimedia files without the costs and necessity for an internal system.
Many businesses have stated their aim to be 100% cloud based, but it is more likely that a hybrid state will exist, combining vendors from software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and on premise applications.
Are you a large or small business? Where do you fit in with these stats?
Three Benefits For Your Business
1. Cut Costs
You cut out the cost of hardware when you opt for managed data centres, with a PAYG model rather than up-front investment to manage your cash flow. Employees can bring their own devices (BOYD) and your business can offer remote working options when you take advantage of flexible cloud solutions, which also saves on office space and real estate costs, directly saving on your bottom line.
2. Back Up and Disaster Recovery
Businesses of all sizes need robust disaster recovery. Traditionally, small businesses have lacked the time, cash and expertise to invest in the disaster recovery needed. But cloud-based back-up and recovery is designed to save time, avoid capital expense and leverage third party expertise - addressing all three obstacles in one.
Now, small businesses are twice as likely as mid-sized organisations and large enterprises to have implemented better back-up and recovery solutions according to Aberdeen Group. Cloud based recovery services avoid up-front investment and will include specialist third party expertise, so you can leave maintenance and free software and security updates to your trusted supplier who can work with you to protect and secure your critical data. Mirrored sites and managed data centres can work together for your critical needs as a business, allowing you to sleep better at night. Rightmove benefitted from cloud solutions with mirrored sites and disaster recovery.
3. Flexibility and Agility
Cloud enables increased collaboration. Teams can access, edit and share data and documents more efficiently, wherever they are, in real time and with full visibility. All files are stored centrally and teams can work from one, updated version – which means improved collaboration and apps designed for all devices.
As the smallest companies can be global, there is more competition to be “agile” and to collaborate across locations, and scale to growing or fluctuating network demands. Case in point - 73% of knowledge workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly and 66% of business leaders need to allow employees to work anywhere at any time.
In conclusion, some of the best ways to reduce costs, provide disaster recovery and provide your business with more flexibility are unlocked in the cloud.
Next week I will cover three concerns you should consider before moving to the cloud...