Cloud computing has been around for years now, but how many businesses have embraced this technology over office based solutions? According to the International Data Group, 69% of businesses are using cloud computing, with a further 18% saying they plan to implement cloud applications in the near future. 

Those are healthy numbers, but why are so many businesses moving over to a cloud infrastructure, and what is the benefit of cloud computing to businesses?

There are numerous benefits and services including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, enhanced data storage, and numerous other software options all hosted in offsite data centres.

Managed IT Support

Your support service would previously have visited your office to update and install software, repair, maintain and update hardware and provide training. This requirement is much reduced in the cloud. Your IT support team can operate remotely, update software without time-consuming and expensive visits, and monitor your systems in real-time.

The 4 Key Benefits of Cloud Computing

There are numerous benefits and services including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, enhanced data storage, and numerous other software options all hosted in offsite data centres.

1)  Set up and Ongoing Costs to Business

Unlike conventional (or old-fashioned!) software purchases, the user simply logs in online to the software they need to work with. That reduces the need to manufacture, deliver, install and maintain onsite software. That reduces the initial purchase, the ongoing cost, and update costs – which are often part of an annual subscription. 

There are often free versions of SaaS (software as a service) packages, and often different SaaS can be integrated using an API key, directly, or using an integration service like Zapier. This all contributes to reducing costs while improving productivity if done properly.

Maintenance of cloud-based solutions is also simpler and more cost-effective because IT support services can access them online.

Payment now is via either a monthly or annual subscription, usually with a discount for paying annually

2)  Updating Cloud Applications

Do you remember the days when you’d buy a new software package? Let’s say Adobe’s design software. It was expensive, you had to install it yourself, or arrange for your IT support to visit your premises to run the installation process for you. Every year or so you would have to buy an update and go through the same process again. Later on, you could buy your upgrade and download the installation, but that had to be done computer by computer. 

Your cloud-based subscription now includes, for the most part, your updates, and these usually carry on in the background without any break in your use of your computer. So updates have become highly efficient exercises. Sometimes you may need to ask your IT support to make a change or two, but that is now remote, so the whole process of updating vital systems in the cloud is both efficient and far more cost-effective.

3)  Collaboration in or out of the Office

Accessing documents centrally is simple in the cloud, collaborating between individuals and teams is highly efficient and straightforward, and time isn’t wasted emailing documents back and forth with track changes! Whether you favour Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or something else, collaboration is central to what the cloud can deliver.

You can utilise project management tools like Trello or Monday, and integrate with other systems, so your whole team operates as a single entity. Tasks, deadlines, and everything you need to run your business is in the cloud, and access is protected by your cyber security measures like 2fa access and security built into the SaaS providers’ firewall.

Computing power and resources are less of an issue because your team will utilise the power built into the systems of your software provider, along with the storage that many supply with their software.

4)  Mobility and Work from Home

During Covid and the various lockdowns, business moved from office-based to home-based working. That’s no mystery, but it took time for many businesses to put systems in place that allowed staff and teams to access what they needed to do their jobs. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, around two-thirds of businesses are utilising cloud computing and other cloud-based systems already.

The transition for those businesses meant supplying hardware, or suitable security for staff to use their own computers to access computation resources. And let’s not forget that VoIP, for those businesses already utilising it, is a highly adaptable telecommunications method that can be flexed to suit changing business needs.

The ability to access the cloud remotely means that businesses no longer ‘need’ to rely on office-based staff in many instances. Whether they do or not has more to do with the culture of a business than the availability of WFH-capable technology.

And for people on the go, access is perfectly possible. That is particularly important for business owners and senior people who may be travelling or on the move and need to maintain access.

What Else?

There are numerous other features and benefits to utilising cloud-based systems, including enhanced cyber security, loss prevention, and disaster recovery. Those businesses in the cloud are far better placed to recover from disaster or data loss and recover more quickly than those businesses that are not. 

And the competitive, agile, more flexible edge that cloud computing offers contributes to the productivity, and ultimately the profitability of a business through the broad range of options, possibilities, and cost-saving opportunities.

Foxhall Solutions provides IT support and cloud-based solutions to businesses and organisations of all sizes Simply drop us a line to arrange a review of your current IT provision to find out what your options and opportunities are.