The internet and associated web technologies are constantly evolving, however, in recent years, one particular service has transformed the fortunes of UK firms to make them more dynamic and competitive.
Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing areas of the IT sector and brings previously unimaginable benefits to firms – big and small – across Britain.
What is cloud computing?
In essence, the term ‘cloud computing’ refers to the process of accessing data and software held on remote machines, most typically over the internet. Files, storage, servers and apps can be accessed securely over any connected device – whether that be on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or wearables.
If your firm isn’t already embracing cloud technologies, you run the risk of falling behind your rivals and being less competitive. Cloud services offer considerable benefits, including:
Scalability: One of the primary advantages of cloud tech is its unrivalled scalability. No firm stands still and it’s quite likely your IT requirements will vary from year to year – or even month to month. If you move your IT to a cloud service provider, you’ll be able to easily and quickly upgrade or downgrade your services as circumstances change.
Security: Cybercrime is a growing concern globally – to the point the revenue generated by online crime now makes it, by comparison, the world’s third-largest economy, behind the US and China. Cloud services offer data backup and security as standard which can be further improved by integrating Cloud App Security Broker (CASB) services like those offered by Proofpoint, which offer an extra, added layer of protection.
Access to 24/7/365 support: No matter how much you believe your network is secure and efficient, problems can and do happen with IT services – and, if not resolved quickly, can cause untold damage to your firm and its reputation. If you partner with a cloud service provider, you’ll have access to the best support available, supplied by qualified IT professionals.
Reduced costs: Setting up and running IT networks is expensive – both from a hardware and software point of view. Moreover, even once you’ve got your network up and working, you’ll still need to employ someone to maintain it. By working with a cloud company, you’ll offload these expenses to the provider, freeing up valuable revenue for alternative uses.
A truly mobile workforce: As cloud computing and storage are hosted remotely, you’ll empower your employees to work on any device, making them truly mobile. Also, because cloud networks draw on the speed and power of remote servers, even the lowliest of handheld devices can be transformed into computing powerhouses capable of performing the most complex of processes.
Access to the latest software and hardware: In days of old, when companies ran their own in-house networks, it was a constant headache for firms to keep updating their hardware and software. However, with cloud computing, you move this financial stress to the provider. It’s in a cloud service provider’s interest to ensure it runs the best systems as this is one of the primary factors that differentiate it from its competitors.