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New Year, New Cloud?

It’s the new year and it’s the perfect time for new starts – Realistically, you could have a new start at any time during the year. But the new year marks a period of reflection for most. And you should use this opportunity to do some reflecting of your own!

In particular, reflect on your business.  Can your business work more efficiently? Does it struggle under the weight of additional demand? Do you need to securely back up your data?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then read on. We may well have some answers for you!

2017 is going to be the year of the cloud

2017 is going to be a significant year for cloud technology. We’ve seen some huge strides already in the last couple of years, with a staggering 84% of SMEs adopting cloud based technology in their day to day activities. But asides from that, some of the most well known and successful businesses use the cloud.

Watching Netflix? You’re using the cloud. Updating your Facebook on your phone? Yep, still using the cloud. Checking your bank balance? You guessed it – you’re using the cloud.

These businesses are using the cloud because of the significant benefits it offers them. And with the average UK broadband speed now at 22.8Mbs according to Ofcom, the means to leverage the cloud is here.

So what are the benefits?

Scalability on demand

Cloud services are good for businesses with growing or fluctuating demands. If you’re experiencing a rush, like during peak periods such as Black Friday or day or January Sales, cloud services will automatically utilise additional capacity from your cloud provider. It’ll also scale down when you aren’t using the additional capacity.

It’s these sorts of reasons that’ll give your business an advantage over your competitors. They might not have these advantages or the capacity to cope with extra demand.

Improved data security 

Data security is becoming an increasingly important thing for businesses across the world. Hacks like the TalkTalk breach of October 2015 can cost businesses millions of pounds. And it was all orchestrated by a 16 year old child.

The cloud can actually help boost your IT security. Platforms like Microsoft Azure are compliant with the prestigious ISO 27001 standard. The standard set up by the International Organization for Standardization outlines hundreds of controls and control mechanisms to help organisations of all types and sizes keep data secure. Azure had to pass stringent criteria to ensure compliance. And it’s one of the only cloud providers to achieve it.

But away from accreditation, cloud data is stored in the cloud – And it isn’t available locally on laptop or mobile devices. So if any of these devices are stolen, thieves won’t be able to copy your data over. You simply shut down access to that device.

Work anywhere, at anytime on any device

The great thing about cloud computing? As long as you’ve got Internet you can be at work and be productive. And you can be working on whatever device you wish. Popular productivity suite Office 365 has a array of apps such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Flow, allowing you to be productive on the move.

You can empower yourself and your staff with flexible working hours. Want to get home for an appointment with a doctor? You can take your work with you and do it while you sit in the waiting room. Have a conference call abroad? You can take your work with you and dial in remotely. The benefits of working remotely are unrivalled, you’ll keep your staff happier and more productive too.

It’s cheaper too

The cloud can cut the cost of your IT. You won’t need to spend a fortune on expensive hardware, software and expert staff. Instead, your cloud provider as part of your subscription fee manages all of this for you. Your data will be hosted on cutting edge hardware in huge datacentres like these.

Any updates to hardware/software on your cloud subscription is handled by your cloud provider too. So you won’t need to worry about your IT, giving you more time to focus on running your business.

Backups & Disaster Recovery

As a business owner, the last thing you need to worry about is losing your data or what would happen to your business if disaster struck. Most cloud providers offer a comprehensive backup service. In particular, Microsoft Azure offers one of the best, with a service that operates similar to their standard cloud product. It scales as you require more capacity, backs up your data automatically and costs a fraction of the cost of an on premise solution.

Still not convinced?

If you’re still not sure, give one of our cloud experts a call. They’re very knowledgeable and can advise you on what you need to do to get started with the cloud. Or drop them a message on our website here – Go on treat yourself – it is the New Year after all!