Business is changing, and with that comes a few almost unavoidable IT-related questions that many of our clients are considering. If you’re here because you’re debating whether you should move the information stored within your business databases to the cloud, look no further. Many of our clients have asked us about why they should move to the cloud. You’re probably thinking; I already have my files stored safely and securely.
Why should I move to the cloud? As it happens, your files could actually be stored even more securely on the cloud. This, alongside a variety of other positive benefits, mean that moving to the cloud is becoming a much more prevalent way to store business related files and data.
Should You Use An IT Specialist To Move To The Cloud?
As some of the UK’s leading IT specialists, we’ve gathered our most knowledgeable Premier IT Solution teams and racked their brains in order to put together a comprehensive guide to the elusive ‘cloud’ that we’re all hearing about within the world of business. What exactly is the cloud? How can using the cloud benefit my company? All of these questions seem pretty strange in theory.
Although many of us are rightly confused by the idea of the cloud, some of us have worked within similar frameworks for well over a decade now. What appears to be cutting edge technology to many of us, has actually been brewing very carefully under the surface of public conception for a number of years. Part of what we do here at Premier IT Solution is to introduce our clients to these ‘new’ innovations, guiding them through the essential pathways that will eventually lead them towards inevitable 21st-century business success.
The short answer is yes you should use an IT professional because of the in depth knowledge and support network you will be investing in when you work with us here at Premier IT Solution.
So, we’ll start with a brief history of ‘the cloud’. Here’s where it all started…
A Brief History of the Cloud
The Cloud was first introduced in 2006. Amazon released an ‘Elastic Compute Cloud’ software. Since then, although the idea behind the cloud system was first actually conceptualised back in the 1960s, leading innovators such as Google and Apple have introduced their own versions of cloud computing technology. The leading industry experts in amassing huge amounts of wealth and success, have all utilised the positive benefits associated with adopting and operating under cloud technology. If there was ever a unifying system that the most successful entrepreneurs of the modern world collectively utilised; it would be the cloud.
Most of us remember the floppy disks of years gone by. Even now, the floppy disk icon remains a ubiquitous symbol of data storage. It’s something we have collectively known, for a number of years, as the ‘save button’. The funny thing is, those years weren’t so long ago. Newer generations that have never seen an actual floppy disk before, have been left confused about the origins of the symbol. While the floppy disk was originally an actual hard shell of plastic, designed to store essential data… Many of us found ourselves misplacing these necessary reserves of vital information.
In terms of running a business, losing such a crucial piece of hardware could become disastrous. In the years since the physical means of “saving” data has become somewhat obsolete, companies have been scrambling to come up with the most useful innovations that allow us to thrive from our use of cloud computing. In their spirited efforts to become leaders within cloud innovations, we have been presented with an array of technological advances that we perhaps would have never imagined just a few decades ago. So, from a primarily hardware-based industry, we adapted to using more software. This is a switch that has understandably confused many people. What is software? Many of us feel that if we can’t visibly see, or physically touch, a method of information storage, that it’s perhaps unsafe to use.
What is the Cloud?
It’s a bit of an abstract concept. Decades ago, something as high-tech and remote as the idea of the ‘cloud’ would be almost inconceivable. Today, it’s increasingly an important reality of our everyday lives, having infiltrated itself within most of our computer systems, phones and other technological devices. It’s a storage system, that doesn’t rely on just one piece of hardware or one device. Unlike local storage solutions, which are likely located within your desktop, which is often linked to a physical place – at home or in the office – the cloud allows us to retrieve and upload data from anywhere. It’s based in the internet, so we don’t need to be in the physical place to access information stored in the cloud, as long as we have the link or password that grants us permission to view and retrieve files.
How does the Cloud Work?
In trying to fathom how this relatively abstract concept works, we need to get to grips with the basics. Using information stored within the cloud basically means that we are able to remotely access data stored within the internet.
While hardware might refer to physical elements of data storage, software is the intangible product that is often installed on these devices. The cloud, however, is simply where information is stored over the internet. We already know there are almost a limitless number of websites available on the internet. The internet itself launched in 1991. Since then, it’s become an almost unavoidable part of our everyday lives, in both leisure and work. Companies offering cloud computing solutions take care of the intricacies surrounding storing data, and they do so with great care. There are many measures in place that work simultaneously to keep your data secure.
The cloud can essentially be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This means it’s everywhere, though we can’t visibly see it. The cloud also isn’t linked to any single entity or organisation. The cloud is simply the umbrella term for the vast array of information that’s stored over the internet. Any company offering cloud computing services is contributing to the cloud, at any given time. The variety of businesses that feed into the cloud and use it every day is increasing at a rapid level.
Some cloud computing services also offer offline modes. This means accessibility is enhanced greatly; and is essential for some businesses to operate. The range of services offered by companies providing cloud computing solutions means there’s a perfect fit for any company looking to move to the cloud.
With the range of products based around cloud computing today, businesses can sensibly select the right package that suits their specific needs as a company. Rather than purchasing an expensive piece of hardware to store data from the get-go, businesses now have the option of uploading their information to the cloud. Once they reach the confines of their specified cloud storage allowance, they then have the ability to upgrade their storage plan in order to suit their ever-changing needs.
Previously, companies have splashed out thousands on data storage utilities, only to find their businesses hadn’t succeeded as well as they’d hoped. Leading to both a loss in revenue and morale, adopting such means of consumptions, particularly today where alternative solutions are available, might be the recipe for disaster. With regards to cloud storage, you can opt in to paying only for the amount of storage you need at any given time. This gives you a huge amount of freedom, adjustable depending on how your company performs.
Safety & Security
Technology has come a long way. With that, the means by which people can infiltrate various systems has caused widespread concern. However, if we work with reputable companies that wholeheartedly stand behind their cloud computing systems and the level of advanced security it offers clients; we cannot dispute the innovations that have made modern technology so impenetrable.
As multi-millionaires continue to store their information in various cloud systems, of course, the question of security and privacy is raised. However, as technology advances, so does security. Businessowners are increasingly storing their information within the cloud. They are doing so for a good reason. Security amongst, and within, cloud technology systems, has improved on an unprecedented scale. With almost impenetrable security systems and a seamless interface – why wouldn’t business owners utilise cloud technology?
Collaborative Working Technology
Many of us are familiar with collaborative document editing technology. Some of us like it, some of us don’t. Whatever our argument is, it’s a great way to keep in touch in real time. While the pandemic may have altered our ways of working, innovations such as these have allowed us to maintain appropriate and effective working communications.
As we have adapted to working from home, many of us have been utilising cloud computing – perhaps without even knowing it. Storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are hosted within the cloud, meaning we can quickly download files uploaded from anywhere, as long as we’re given the access to do so. On such services, it’s also possible to edit documents and work on them with colleagues in real time. This has great potential when it comes to productivity improvements, which is surely a huge benefit for any company.
Adapt to Dynamic Business Needs
Business requirements are bound to change over time. From being an initial start-up, to an international brand; the needs of your company will develop as time goes on. Cloud computing allows you to tap into the niche changes that your business is witnessing day by day. For a few weeks, you might see no need to acquire more space for information saving purposes. Within a short timeframe after that, however, you might have acquired a huge amount of profits or interest; and now you’re left with the task of having to expand your resources.
With cloud computing, we can easily adapt to our ever-changing requirements with just the tap of a button. Once storage levels in your respective cloud account begin to pile up, you can easily and effectively upgrade your storage plan almost automatically. This gives us the ability to add what feels like an infinite amount of storage space, all without the need to source hardware or alternative storage methods that might now seem outdated or entirely ineffective. Amongst the abundance of other benefits, cloud computing simply gives us more options. If we’d like to increase security efforts, or block a particular user from seeing information, it’s done within seconds.
Since many of us have been working from home as the lockdown was implemented, we’ve all found our own individual ways of working around the inconveniences. For thousands and thousands of companies across the country, this has involved having to invest in new technology. Of course, none of us predicted the pandemic. However, the companies we work with that already had cloud computing systems in place fared much better when it came to making the inevitable adjustments between office and home working.
Cloud computing gives us the ability to work from afar, on our own personal computers. In the modern world, this has innumerable benefits regarding how we prefer to work today. Essentially; we can work from anywhere, without having to refer back to that ‘all important’ piece of hardware that’s fundamentally controlling our lives. Instead, given access to the files we need from an online source, we can access whatever we need, wherever we need it.
This has great ramifications concerning the subject of inclusivity. Disabled members of staff have the ability to work much more comfortably from home. They have access to their own specialist equipment, software and devices; without interference from distractions. This may seem like a somewhat insignificant consideration for some. However, for employees who struggle each day with the task of coming into the physical workplace (particularly amidst a pandemic), enhanced accessibility can be almost like a saving grace.
Improved Flexible and Agile Working Abilities
This is where the ideas behind flexible and agile working also come in. Many of us have worked from home as businesses and employees try to navigate their way through the crisis we’re experiencing. Many of our efforts have been surprisingly fruitful. Where we previously remained stubbornly attached to the idea that we must all visit the office in order to work productively, most of us have shown our best work as we are given the freedom to work within our own environments.
Cloud computing has allowed us to do this. Not everyone owns a personal computer, we know this. But a number of companies made provisions that enabled employees to work effectively – or increasingly effectively – from home. A lot of the ability to do this is down to cloud computing.
Agile working has been around as an idea for a number of years now. As lifestyles change, and our needs shift as the years go on, modern beings are questioning the systems we’re working within. Agile working, in the simplest of terms, means that we’re adjusting to new ways of working by homing in on the idea that we should have the freedom to work beyond the confines of time and space. This is connected to flexible working, where we’re not all expected to stick to the same schedules, perhaps due to other commitments. However, agile working goes one step further, allowing us to work from anywhere in the world, too. Such a method of working has only become available to us due to technological advances – particularly those surrounding cloud computing.
As we no longer have to limit ourselves to the physical workplace, we can work from anywhere; simply choose the most productive and comfortable environment for you! Working in this way opens up a huge range of possibilities for both you and your employees. They’re granted even greater freedoms, and you’re left with reduced costs in maintaining electricity bills, paying commuting fees, and the likes. The list goes on. With cloud computing, you have a greater level of freedom concerning how you can structure the way the workforce operates. In times of uncertainty such as those we’re experiencing right now, making the move to the cloud is great way to adapt to our changing world.
Reduced Requirement for Backup Systems
Our familiarity with backup systems – hard drives, alternative computers, you name it – is unmatched. As an IT company, the importance of backing up vital information is simply something we do not question, let alone take lightly.
One of the reasons we stand behind cloud computing, as a company, is that information updated to the cloud is automatically stored within a secure database. Hardware cannot be lost. If passwords are forgotten, there are multiple systems within place that enable you and your staff to regain access to their extremely secure accounts.
We’ve all experienced the pain of losing that crucial file we’ve worked so hard on. On a business level, that loss becomes even more excruciating, and potentially financially damaging. If you move to the cloud, your data is automatically backed up. Many companies already use cloud computing as a backup to their hardware storage solutions, so it only makes sense that a lot of them are now considering making the total switch to the cloud. This will ultimately save them time, effort and money in the long run! With the cloud, there’s much less worries concerning time-consuming backup procedures.
Premier IT Solution could be Your Solution to Cloud Migration
As always, we’re here to provide our clients with informative advice surrounding exactly how they can make the most of the IT technologies available on the market today. We hope this article has been an intriguing read. Despite its many benefits, it’s understandable that business owners are relatively apprehensive about storing precious data within what many of us can only conceive to be a very abstract idea.
Moving to the cloud is also not always a straightforward procedure. There can be potential risks involved. Sometimes, there are performance problems, as cloud computing may slow down systems it’s installed or used on. We deal with problems such as these on a daily basis, so we know what we’re doing. Limiting other issues, such as considering whether employees are fully trained in how to use their new systems, are also a key part of how we help our clients with moving to the cloud. These are risks that, as a company, we have taken great lengths to avoid when dealing with cloud computing and our clients’ data. If you’re thinking about making the switch to the cloud, you’ll definitely benefit from having our knowledgeable team at Premier IT Solution take care of the details. Get in touch with us today to take the first step in moving to the cloud.
Get in touch with our team today for more information, advice, prices and to ask any questions you may have about utilising our services for your organisation.