By now, everybody has heard of “The Cloud”, but if someone were to ask you what it is, would you be able to explain it? We don’t think everyone needs to know everything about IT, but when you understand a bit more about what the cloud is and does, it’s so much easier to see the value of utilising cloud technology for your business.
What is the cloud?
Even if you aren’t sure, you’re almost definitely already using cloud technology in your day-to-day life. Maybe for storing digital photos, or storing your automatic phone backups that happen while you’re sleeping.
Despite its name, the cloud isn’t a mystical jumble of rainbow fuzz gathered together somewhere in the atmosphere, although that would be very cool. Accessing documents, photos, software or any other data from the cloud actually just means the information is stored on someone else’s servers.
These are quite literally huge, very secure buildings with servers running 24/7, allowing you to access any data from anywhere using whichever device you like, by linking to these servers via the internet.
A business case for the cloud
Back in 2017, 74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers said cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business. Since then, the statistics have backed this up, with business use of the cloud increasing year on year. In 2021, 53% of small and medium-sized businesses used cloud computing, a rise from 46% in 2020. This is as more and more people realise the benefits.
If you have in-house servers, you might be thinking “this isn’t for me!” but it is. You don’t have to move everything to the cloud, hybrid models can work extremely well. You might move everything that your team needs in order to perform their roles to the cloud, to make it much easier to implement flexible working, for example.
By doing this you can reduce the cost of running your own in-house servers, especially with energy prices shooting up. It’s also really easy and cost-effective to simply increase cloud storage space as and when you need it, making it a great solution for businesses looking to scale quickly. As well as this, not relying on local storage means your machines will be more efficient, literally creating more time in the day – how often do we all wish for that?
It can also increase the reliability of your IT infrastructure. Running in-house servers relies on human beings, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Although cloud servers are also run by people, they’re huge companies with systems and processes, and lots and lots of engineers to quickly hop on and fix things if necessary.
If you’re using in-house servers for your backups, this can also cause problems if your office were to be subject to something like a flood, fire, or theft. Your backups will be gone along with everything else. By utilising the cloud for backups, you can have a version of your data saved offsite, giving you much more protection against unprecedented events.
Is the cloud secure?
This leads us right on to security. Remember what we said about the servers being in big buildings? The companies running them know it’s in their best interest to keep the tightest of security. Millions of pounds are spent protecting them and the data inside, which means they’re probably more secure than your own on-site server.
Is it difficult to move to the cloud?
This entirely varies from business to business. For bigger organisations, or those who have been running for longer it can be more complex. It involves physically transferring your data from where it’s currently kept, to cloud storage without losing anything.
However, that’s why we’re here! With expert help and a step-by-step plan, you’ll be able to make the transition smoothly.
Want to know more about creating a cloud migration strategy? Read the next post in our series in the Learning Hub!
If you would like to learn more about how the cloud can work for you, download your free guide below.